Bangladesh allows food flotilla for Rohingya to dock

Feb 4, 2017
Najib (left) and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein at the launch yesterday. Photo from Hishammuddin's Facebook page
Najib (left) and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein at the launch yesterday. Photo from Hishammuddin’s Facebook page

Bangladesh has agreed to allow a humanitarian aid mission from Malaysia to dock at one of its ports to unload food and medical aid for Rohingya refugees, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The ministry said in a statement today that Bangladesh had given permission for the ‘Food Flotilla for Myanmar’ to dock at the port of Teknaf in Bangladesh to drop off food and medicines for the refugees living around the port.

The flotilla, carrying 2,200 tonnes of food and medicines, departed Port Klang yesterday for Yangon to unload supplies for the Rohingya in Myanmar and would subsequently proceed to Teknaf.

The Foreign Ministry said the Bangladesh approval was received following a meeting between Foreign Minister Anifah Aman and Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia Md Shahidul Islam.

“The matter has now been resolved as a result of the good relations between Malaysia and Bangladesh,” the ministry said in the statement.

It said Malaysia expressed its appreciation to the government of Bangladesh for its willingness to allow the food flotilla to provide humanitarian aid to the Rohingya refugees around Teknaf.

It was reported earlier that Bangladesh had denied access to the food flotilla.

The ‘Food Flotilla for Myanmar’ is organised by the Putera 1Malaysia Club and Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisations (MAPIM) in collaboration with the Turkiye Diyanet Vakfi (TDV) Foundation of Turkey.

The flotilla was flagged off by Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday and is expected to arrive in Yangon on Feb 7 or 8.

Some 230 volunteers from 13 countries, among them medical teams, teaching staff, local and international media practitioners and representatives of local and foreign NGOs, are in the mission. –Bernama