Rohingya aid ship arrives in Bangladesh
Some 1,472 tons of relief materials to be distributed to more than 15,000 refugees
Workers look on as Malaysian ship Nautical Aliya, with relief aid for Rohingya Muslims, is unloaded as she sits moored at the port of Chittagong on Feb. 14 (Photo by AFP)
Bangladesh authorities on Feb.14 welcomed a Malaysian ship bringing humanitarian aid for thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees as it offloaded food, medicine and other supplies at the port of Chittagong.
Authorities allowed 25 volunteers to leave the ship Nautica Aliya so they could distribute the aid to the refugees from Myanmar in southeastern Cox's Bazar district, BenarNews, a Radio Free Asia-affiliated online news service reported.
The district's administration hired 150 trucks to transport the aid to refugee camps scattered across Cox's Bazar, a drive of several hours from Chittagong.
"We have the relief materials. These will be distributed among the Rohingya refugees in Teknaf and Ukhia," Ali Hossain, the deputy commissioner of Cox's Bazar, said.
Teknaf and Ukhia are sub-districts in Cox's Bazar that house several camps housing registered and unregistered Rohingya refugees.
"We have information that the ship carried 1,472 tons of relief materials, which will be distributed to more than 15,000 Rohingyas," a high-ranking Bangladesh Navy official told BenarNews on condition of anonymity.
At least 66,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since early October, amid reports that Myanmar security forces have targeted people from the minority community in killings, rapes and other abuses — allegations that the Myanmar government has denied.
"The IOM [International Organization for Migration] is in charge of the relief materials while the Red Crescent Society has been helping the distribution of the materials," said Khurshed Alam, Bangladesh's foreign secretary for maritime affairs, adding district administrators would facilitate the distribution.
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