Jakarta. Indonesia will send humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing escalating violence in Myanmar's northwestern Rakhine State to Bangladesh, according to a statement released by the Cabinet Secretariat on Thursday (07/09).
"Following the president’s instruction, we will deliver the aid as soon as possible. The refugees urgently need tents, food and drinking water," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi was quoted as saying in the statement.
Retno said she instructed the Indonesian ambassador to Bangladesh, Rina Soemarno, to stay informed on what the refugees need most. Extra tents are a priority at the moment, as the existing refugee camps struggle to cope with a burgeoning number of refugees.
The United Nations' refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Tuesday that around 123,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since violence broke out late last month.
The minister visited Myanmar and Bangladesh earlier this week, where she held meetings with officials of both governments to discuss the problem of refugees crossing the border to Bangladesh trying to escape the escalating violence and conflict in Rakhine State.
In Bangladesh, Retno also met with representatives from the UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
"We have to hold dialogues with both countries to keep a good bilateral relations between the two. Continued communication is essential to resolve the refugee and border-crossing issues," Retno said.