Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi stated that four helicopters would carry humanitarian aid for the Rohingyas who have fled to Bangladesh from the Rakhine State in Myanmar, Wednesday.

"The aid is not limited to one batch of flights. There will be four helicopters tomorrow (to carry the aid). We will discuss the second and the third batches of flights further, but there won't be much time gap between the batches," she said at her office here, Tuesday.

The humanitarian aid will be sent tomorrow in the form of rice, dried food, cooking oil, tents, blankets, clothes and toiletries, such as soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and shampoo.

The four helicopters are expected to land at the Chittagong city airport, around 150 km from the Rohingya refugee center in Cox Bazaar city.

Marsudi explained that the first phase of humanitarian aid for the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh could be delivered immediately owing to the good coordination between the Indonesian and Bangladeshi governments, through the Indonesian Ambassador in Dhaka, Rina Soemarno.

Earlier, during her to Bangladesh in September, she had requested for a list of assistance needed by the Rohingya refugees and the government of Bangladesh, so that the aid could be more focused and optimal.

She hoped that the Myanmar government could also provide a list of needs for the citizens of Rakhine, so that Indonesia can immediately send aid for them.

The Indonesian government has received a list of the refugees' needs, including for essentials, such as tents, mattresses, blankets, food and drinking water, from Soemarno.

According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, the number of refugees from Rakhine State reached 500 thousand last week.

The growing number of refugees trying to escape the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar has been a burden not only for Bangladesh, but also for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration, who are working continuously in the country.

Indonesia has attempted to address the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State comprehensively, from its upstream in Myanmar to its downstream in Bangladesh, as a destination country for refugees.

In addition to its humanitarian approach, Indonesia believes that sound bilateral relations between the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh is necessary to address the border and refugee problems.

(T.SYS/A/KR-BSR/B003) 12-09-2017 23:47:56

Editor: Ade P Marboen
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