TORONTO, Dec. 13, 2017 /CNW/ - UNICEF Canada has responded to today's announcement by Minister of International Development and La Francophone Marie-Claude Bibeau of more than $12.5 million in funding to help scale up the humanitarian response to the crisis in Myanmar's Rakhine state and displaced persons in Bangladesh. UNICEF Canada President and CEO David Morley provided the following response:
"Whenever there's a global emergency, Canadians step up to respond, and the Rohingya crisis is no different. Through the news, Canadians have seen what we see every day – the desperate need of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya children and their families who have fled horrific violence in Myanmar and sought safety across the border in Bangladesh. Today's announcement of Canadian support could not have at a more critical time.
The humanitarian situation for Rohingya refugees is dire, with nearly 646,000 refugees having crossed over since 25 August 2017. More than half of them are children. Even if the pace of arrivals has slowed down, thousands of refugees continue to arrive every week, adding pressure on already heavily stretched resources. Facing overcrowded camps, unsafe water and high levels of malnutrition, a diphtheria outbreak this week is putting thousands more children at heightened risk.
UNICEF has been scaling up its relief operations in response to crisis, working to protect the most vulnerable children. We continue to provide essential vaccinations and safe drinking water, treat children for severe malnutrition and provide children with the education and psychosocial support they need. Still, with little progress towards a peaceful political situation, ever more children remain in harm's way.
Today, the support of Canada sends a strong message to the world: we are a nation that cares and we will do whatever it takes to help those who need it. Canadians can rest assured that their donations will be helping to minimize the impact of this humanitarian catastrophe on children. UNICEF will continue to provide life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable children, including establishing child-friendly spaces, providing psychosocial support, vaccinating children against deadly diseases and making sure families have safe water to drink.
All Canadians should be proud today of the difference they are making. As the crisis rages on, we look forward to the continued support of Canada to protect children at risk."
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.
UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.
SOURCE UNICEF Canada
For further information: To arrange interviews or for more information please contact: Stefanie Carmichael, UNICEF Canada, 416-482-6552 ext. 8866, [email protected]