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EU to provide 200,000 euro to assist Rohingya refugees in Thailand

June 14,
The European
Union is committing 200,000 euro to provide humanitarian assistance to Rohingya
refugees being detained in Thailand, the EU Delegation to Thailand announced
help will be directed to
 Rohingya men at
detention centres and
 Rohingya women and
children at social welfare facilities.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will take charge of the aid,
which will provide the Rohingya with basic
household items, food and health care.

The project will be monitored by the EU’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection
department (ECHO), which maintains a regional office in Bangkok.

The funding decision was made after ECHO experts, accompanied by ECHO’s
Director of Operations, Jean-Louis de Brouwer, paid a visit to one of the
detention facilities in May.

Some 2,000 Rohingyas, fleeing communal violence in Myanmar, were intercepted in
Thailand in early 2013, while trying to reach Malaysia.

Central government funding to provide food and basic care to the refugees is
minimal and donations from local communities have dried up, prompting the Head
of the EU Delegation to Thailand, David Lipman, to express the EU’s concern
about conditions in these facilities.

“We are worried that the unhealthy and overcrowded conditions inside these
facilities are detrimental to the health of the refugees” he explained.

“Men and boys are being held in separate facilities from their families
and they live in constant fear of being repatriated. We therefore urge the
government to work together with international agencies in finding durable
solutions for these refugees.” 

Following inter-communal violence in Rakhine State in Myanmar, thousands of
Rohingyas have been fleeing on boats, hoping to reach Malaysia. 

Since January some 2,000 Rohingya men, women
and children have been detained, while trying to cross Thailand into Malaysia. Rohingya families have
been split up, with women and children sent to government-run shelters separate
from the men, who are placed in immigration detention centres.