Australia is chipping in an extra $13 million in aid to help people from Myanmar ethnic minority groups fleeing violence at the hands of the country’s military.
The plight of Rohingya people in Rakhine state has received much international attention, following an exodus of more than 700,000 people to neighbouring Bangladesh after a military crackdown last August.
An estimated 500,000 Rohingya people remaining behind in Myanmar are in need of humanitarian relief.
Human rights abuses and conflict in Kachin and the northern Shan states have also ramped up.
Since early April, an estimated 5000 people in the northern Kachin state have fled their homes because of intensified fighting between the military and rebels.
“The Australian government calls on all parties to end the fighting, protect civilian populations, and allow humanitarian assistance to be delivered to affected communities,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.
Ms Bishop said the $13 million would go to aid groups such as Save the Children and the UN’s refugee agency to help provide health care, shelter and schooling in Rakhine state.
Save the Children will receive $1 million to train teachers and expand an existing education program in Rakhine state which works with displaced kids.
In Kachin and Shan states Australia’s support would help protect families fleeing violence.
Last week, Ms Bishop announced an extra $15 million of assistance for the Rohingya refugee camps at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.
Australia’s total assistance to the Rohingya crisis is $51.5 million since last September.
Australian Associated Press