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The UK government has sent humanitarian aid for Rohingyas who fled to Bangladesh following the crackdown by Myanmar army in the Rakhine state since 25 August.

The Department for International Development (DfID) in collaboration with IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has organised a major airlift of relief items for Rohingyas in Bangladesh, says a press release of British High Commission in Dhaka.

According to the UN estimation, over 500,000 Rohingya people have fled to Bangladesh to escape atrocities in Myanmar

There are massive shelter and site management needs across the Cox’s Bazar area.

DfID is working in close partnership with IOM, humanitarian agencies, the international community and the government of Bangladesh to urgently address these needs.

The provision, by the British government, of 10,000 shelter kits, 10,500 sleeping mats and 20,000 blankets will help improve the lives of thousands of people who are living in makeshift settlements around Kutupalong and Balukhali.

Distribution of this aid began on Wednesday through IOM and will continue over the course of the next week.

The British government has been quick to respond to the crisis and has already announced £30m of funding to meet the urgent humanitarian needs.

UK international development secretary Priti Patel said, “In this time of crisis, the UK will do everything it possibly can to help and is leading the way internationally to save the victims of this tragedy, who are in desperate need of food, water, shelter and healthcare.”

Jane Edmondson, head of DfID in Bangladesh said, “As the largest bilateral donor of aid the UK continues to be at the forefront of responding to the plight of the refugees. Since reports of the latest violence in Rakhine state emerged on 25 August the UK Government has committed an additional £30m of funding for those most affected by the violence as part of our overall crisis response.”

“UK supplies of emergency shelter kits, sleeping mats and blankets are much needed and will provide critical, potentially life-saving, shelter to thousands of the most vulnerable, added Edmondson.”

IOM director of Operations and Emergencies Mohammed Abdiker said, “Many thousands of people are living in the open. We need to provide them with shelter immediately.”

“This airlift will supply 10,000 families – 50,000 people – with potentially life-saving shelter, mats and bedding to protect them during the monsoon season’s torrential wind and rain. We are greatly appreciative that the UK government, which has partnered with IOM in Bangladesh, Iraq and in other IOM missions, has again decided to work with us to help this extremely vulnerable population,” Abdiker added.

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