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Mapim: ‘Food Flotilla for Myanmar’ not just a humanitarian aid, but message to help Rohingyas

PORT KLANG, Feb 5 — The ‘Food Flotilla For Myanmar’ on board the ‘Nautical Aliya’ which departed from Malaysia for Myanmar is expected to arrive in Yangon, Myanmar on February 8.

The mission organised by the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islam Organisations (Mapim), Kelab Putra 1Malaysia and Turkiye Diyanet Vakfi Foundation (TDV) from Turkey will see the vessel ‘Nautical Aliya’ carrying 200 volunteers and 2,300 tonnes of food and medical supply for the ethnic Rohingya in Myanmar.

The mission is not just to provide humanitarian aid but accompanied by a message — that of to stop the atrocities against the ethnic Rohingya.

Following is the transcript of an interview with Mapim President Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid by Bernama journalist Anis Nabilla Md Wazilah, who is part of the mission.

Bernama: What is the ‘Food Flotilla For Myanmar’ mission about?

Mohd Azmi: The mission is to send humanitarian aid plus put forward a message to the communities around the world about the atrocities against the ethnic Rohingya in Myanmar and to stop such acts of violence.

Bernama: Apart from supplying food, what else will the volunteers do during the mission?

Mohd Azmi: We have plans to provide medical assistance to about 5,000 people affected by the ongoing conflict. As for the food supply, we expect to assist about 20,000 to 30,000 refugees.

We also hope the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh will give us the necessary approval to ensure the mission is successful.

Bernama: What are the challenges expected during the mission?

Mohd Azmi: We took about three months to plan the mission and delegation involved in the mission. The challenges were to secure a ship for the mission, manage the approval process from Myanmar.

Many discussions and meetings were held, the biggest challenge was to source for funds, we even had to delay the mission due to lack of funds and we felt guilty about it but ‘God Willing’ the mission could be carried out now.

Careful preparations had gone into setting up the mission and we took into account various aspects, like technicalities on the ship, ever changing weather throughout the journey, etc.

Bernama: What is the hope of the mission?

Mohd Azmi: Certainly our hope is not only to provide humanitarian aid to those affected but to carry out programmes that can benefit the ethnic Rohingya who are suffering.

The ‘Food Flotilla for Myanmar’ is just one aspect of the humanitarian aid because there are other areas that need to be looked at, like defending the rights of the ethnic Rohingya and not allow them to be killed or forced out of their homeland, that is our objective. — Bernama

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/mapim-food-flotilla-for-myanmar-not-just-a-humanitarian-mission-but-a-messa#sthash.3YqXW9tm.dpuf