OTTAWA — International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says Canada will contribute another $3 million to relief efforts to help refugees fleeing into Bangladesh from northern Myanmar.
She says the money is a response to an aid appeal from the United Nations and the International Red Cross.
The funds will address key needs, including shelter, protection, health, water and sanitation.
Bibeau says the money will go to Doctors Without Borders, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Red Cross and the International Organization for Migration.
She says part of the funding will help with hospital care and other health-care services, particularly focusing on sexual and reproductive health and sexual and gender-based violence and psychosocial support for survivors as well as obstetric care.
Canada is also making its emergency stockpile, including shelter and emergency relief supplies, available to help Rohingya Muslim refugees who say they have been driven from their homes in Myanmar.
There has been a significant increase in the number of Rohingya refugees seeking shelter in Bangladesh in recent weeks. An estimated 500,000 people, the majority women and children, have been displaced.
Myanmar's powerful military is accused of torching the homes of thousands of Rohingya, forcing them to flee.
The country's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has come under harsh international criticism for failing to speak out against the violence, with some arguing she should be stripped of both her Nobel Peace Prize and her honorary Canadian citizenship.
On Wednesday, Bibeau urged the Myanmar authorities to protect civilians from the continuing violence.
"We call for the full, unimpeded resumption of humanitarian assistance activities for UN and humanitarian organizations in Myanmar," she said.
So far this year, Canada has provided $12.25 million in humanitarian assistance funding to partners in Myanmar and Bangladesh to meet the needs of crisis-affected people, the government said in a statement.
The Canadian Press
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