Anne Main MP will lead a delegation to Bangladesh amid heightened concerns over the treatment of Rohingyas in neighbouring Burma (Myanmar) who are fleeing across the border.
‘The situation is critical,’ said the St Albans MP after a top United Nations spokesperson claimed that the treatment of the Rohingya in Burma was ‘a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.’
The delegation will include MPs and members of the Conservative Friends of Bangladesh (CFoB) who will visit camps on the Bangladesh border, where more than 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to since violence erupted late last month.
Anne said, ‘As chair of the APPG on Bangladesh, I have been monitoring the situation for some time. We included visits to the camps in CFoB’s itinerary as a priority following concerns that were being expressed to me some months ago.
‘We will be visiting various parts of the country on a wider social action trip. This will be CFoB’s fourth visit to Bangladesh. The group continues to grow and is a great charitable connection between the UK and Bangladesh.’
The delegation will also visit local schools, medical facilities and community sports projects to see how British aid money is spent, as well as revisiting previous CFoB initiatives.
‘I know the whole group is looking forward to visiting organisations there that rely heavily upon British aid,’ said Mrs Main. ‘These are some of the poorest people on the planet and it is important that we continue to help those who so desperately need it.’
The trip follows the announcement on Monday that the British government are to pledge £5 million in additional support for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. ‘The situation is critical, so I welcome the support of the British government.’ The group has arranged to visit a refugee camp under the supervision of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Bangladesh government.
Mrs Main, who is president of CFoB, said that she was ‘sincerely grateful for the hard work carried out behind the scenes by members of the CFoB who have once again arranged what should be a very challenging, but rewarding trip. The generous donations made by supporters and members of the group have made this trip possible for our delegation at such a crucial time, and I am very grateful to them.’