Indonesian Red Cross to Give Rohingya Aid

By Ismira Lutfia 16 August 2012

The Indonesian Red Cross said on Tuesday that it was trying to coordinate relief efforts pledged from Indonesia for the thousands of Rohingya Muslims caught up in bloody sectarian violence in western Burma.

Aulia Arriani, a spokeswoman for the organization known as the PMI, said several Islamic charity groups—including Dompet Dhuafa, Mer-C, the National Alms Agency (Baznas) and the Quick Response Team—had expressed an interest in sending food and medical supplies to the Rohingya community.

“The PMI is merely providing options for the humanitarian organizations wishing to provide assistance to the Rohingya refugees to do so under the coordination of the PMI and the OIC [Organization of Islamic Cooperation],” said Aulia.

“The relief effort must be coordinated with the host government and the Red Cross.”

At previous meetings with the PMI, the humanitarian groups pledged help ranging from relief supplies to offers of homes.

The OIC recently announced it had received permission from the Burmese government to assist the Muslim Rohingya displaced by sectarian violence.

It said the approval came following talks in Rangoon on Friday between a delegation from the pan-Islamic body and President Thein Sein on the “deplorable humanitarian situation in Rakhine [Arakan] State.”

Saudi King Abdullah announced on Saturday a grant of US $50 million for the Rohingya, according to a report from the Saudi Press Agency. He described them as victims of “several rights violations, including ethnic cleansing, murder, rape and forced displacement.”

Violence between Arakanese Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims has left at least 80 dead and thousands displaced since the fighting broke out in June, according to official figures.