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Canadian Aid in Rohingya Crisis Has Reached $50 Million

In just a few weeks, individual donations to Canada’s Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund have reached $12.5 million, making Canada’s total contribution to the crisis $50 million.

On Oct. 31, Canada launched the fund in response to the situation in Myanmar and the refugee crisis in Bangladesh.

Rohingya Muslims have been fleeing ethic and religious violence in Myanmar. This ethnic cleansing has caused 600,000 Rohingya refugees to head to Bangladesh since Aug. 25.

Take Action: Protect Children Fleeing Persecution and Conflict

Minister of International Development and La Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau announced then that every eligible donation made by Canadians to registered Canadian charities between Aug. 25 and Nov. 28 would be matched by the Canadian government and contributed to the fund.

And so, $12.5 million was matched and added to the $25 million that was already committed to Bangladesh and Myanmar, making the government’s contribution a total of $37.5 million.

“Canadians continue to show themselves to be generous and compassionate people. Their contributions will help our partners respond to the increasing humanitarian needs in Myanmar and Bangladesh with a strong focus on meeting the particular needs of women and girls, who have faced the greatest impact of this crisis,” Bibeau said in a statement.

Read More: Timeline: How the Rohingya Crisis Unfolded in Myanmar

The UN launched an appeal for over $434 million to respond to the crisis from September to February.

With the total of $50 million, Canada is now one of the top donors in the response to this crisis, according to Bibeau.

Under Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, the humanitarian response will focus on women and girls.

Read More: UN Raises $344M for Rohingya Crisis as US Threatens Sanctions Against Myanmar

As such, these funds will concentrate on the gender-specific needs of women and girls, including survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, pregnant and nursing women, and woman-headed households.

Sexual and reproductive health services and psychosocial counselling will also be part of Canada’s response.

In November, Bibeau visited refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Read More: Clandestine Sex Industry Booms in Rohingya Refugee Camps

She met with survivors of gender-based violence, unaccompanied children and new mothers, and workers of humanitarian organizations.

"They have seen their husbands and children killed. They have been raped. They have seen rape," she said during a news conference Wednesday. "They have seen their houses, of full villages, on fire."

Refugee camp conditions are also a concern as people are at risk of water shortages, epidemics and unforeseen weather events.

Read More: Rohingya Girls as Young as 10 Were Raped by Soldiers While Fleeing Myanmar

Among the charities receiving aid from Canada are Save the Children Canada ($2.2 million), Médecins du Monde ($1.5 million), Médecins Sans Frontières ($1.5 million), World Vision ($1.5 million), Handicap International ($1.3 million), Canadian Red Cross Society ($1 million), and CARE Canada ($1 million), according to CBC.

Funds will also be used to provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene accommodations, sexual health and reproductive services, and support for mental health.

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