Above 400,000 helpless Muslims need aid in Myanmar: UN

The United Nations says nearly half a million members of the persecuted Rohingya community in Myanmar are in need of humanitarian aid as the plight of Muslim minorities in the Asian state continues unabated.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said on Friday that three years into the outbreak of a fresh wave of violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine, more than 416,000 people in the community still need humanitarian assistance.

This includes over 140,000 displaced people still living in dire conditions in camps and many others without citizenship in isolated villages, UNOCHA spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

“Access to adequate healthcare and livelihoods remains a major concern for displaced people and vulnerable communities in Rakhine State,” he said.

The UNOCHA official also warned that more than 40,000 displaced Rohingya Muslims live in camps within 500 meters of coastline, where weather conditions are expected to deteriorate amid the monsoon season.

“Restrictions on the freedom of movement of hundreds of thousands of people in Rakhine State severely compromise their basic rights to food, healthcare, education, livelihoods and other basic services, leaving them dependent on humanitarian aid,” he added.

Over 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar face discrimination, including controls on their movements, family size and access to jobs.

In recent years, a large number of Rohingya Muslims have been killed and thousands displaced in attacks by extremist Buddhists, especially in Rakhine State.

Myanmar denies citizenship to most of Rohingya population in the country. According to the United Nations (UN), Rohingya Muslims are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

The violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has triggered an influx of refugees into neighboring countries, namely Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

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