Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– At the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh is sending life-saving medicines worth about BDT 10 million for the flood-hit people of Burma, officially known as Myanmar.
The medicines weighing about one tonne would be sent to Myanmar through a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight at 12.30 pm on Saturday, PM’s Press Wing officials said.
Senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) including PM’s Principal Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad visited the Central Medical Stores Depot at Tejgaon here this morning to see the medicines that would be sent to Myanmar.
Health Secretary Syed Manjurul Islam, Maritime Affairs Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral Khurshid Alam, Director General of Health Deen Mohammad Nurul Haque and other senior officials of the PMO, the Foreign Ministry and the Health Ministry were present on the occasion, the sources said.
Talking to reporters, the PM’s Principal Secretary said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is very much sincere and always ready to provide any kind of humanitarian assistance for the necessity of Bangladesh’s neighbours.
Replying to a question, he said the Myanmar government is yet to make any request to Bangladesh for sending medical team. “But we are always ready to send medical team there for their necessity,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to send emergency relief materials like life-saving medicines & kits, water purification tablets, blankets and tents to Myanmar for its flood-hit people.
Mr. Tareque Muhammad from the Bangladesh Embassy to Myanmar told Mizzima, “It is the commitment that we show to Myanmar, as we understand the plight of the people as this is something that is very common for us.”
Myanmar has received aid money from many foreign countries: The United States: $600,000, United Kingdom: US$775,000, Australia: approx. US$1 million, Thailand: $142,202, Singapore Red Cross: $100,000 and China: $300,000, to name but a few.
Nick Cumpston from the Australian Government said in addition to the government’s donation they would be donating “Emergency family kits that include: cooking utensils, bedding, clothing, mosquito nets, hygiene kits and school supplies.”
But most of the aid effort has come from local companies, those who stand out are KBZ companies and Sky Net. Kanbawza Group Companies have donated upwards of US$3.6 million, with US$1.6m coming from the charity “Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation” and US$2m from KBZ’s subsidiaries.
Daw Aye Aye Cho, the headmistress of a Kalay school who is working on helping refugees affected by flooding told Mizzima that “Skynet is offering free television amongst other things, the dramas keep people busy and distracted. So people aren’t getting into trouble.”
Bangladesh and Myanmar have recently been hounded by the international community to take responsibility for Rohingya refugees who have been fleeing the region in high numbers this year.
68,000 Rohingya were said to have fled by boat into the Andaman Sea only to end up in death camps. Both governments said they would participate in a crackdown of people smuggling in their border and then repatriate people back to their respective countries.
The Myanmar government has sent most of those they have found in their waters to Bangladesh.