SCOTTISH donations are “crucial” to helping more than half a million Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar, a charity said yesterday.
More than £160,000 has been raised by the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (Sciaf) to help the refugees escape to neighbouring Bangladesh.
The money is being used to tackle overcrowding as 646,000 refugees have crossed the border and are now living in makeshift camps. Blankets, floor mats and sleeping mats are being distributed to 14,600 families as they prepare for the harsh winter conditions.
The Scottish donations are also being used to install drainage, create safe pathways and build new homes at the camp.
Rohingya Muslims are denied citizenship in mainly Buddhist Myanmar, whose leaders have been accused by the United Nations of leading an orchestrated campaign of rape, murder and the burning of villages that seems a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled the country since the violence escalated in August, with the elderly and children reportedly among those being targeted by the Myanmar military.
Around 60 per cent of refugees in the camps are reported to be children, 12,000 of whom have been orphaned.
Sciaf director Alistair Dutton said the Rohingya were victims of “crimes against humanity.”
He said the aid funding was delivering “crucial” supplies to the camps where conditions are “unsafe,” with “open sewage … flowing between the huts.”
Mr Dutton praised the people of Scotland for their generosity but said that much more money needed to be raised.
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