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Unifor aids Rohingya refugees

October 17, 2017

Toronto – Unifor, through the union’s Social Justice Fund, has donated $100,000 to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide aid to Rohingya refugees.

“Unifor’s decision to send support for life-saving assistance to the Rohingya people, whose very lives hang by the thinnest thread, speaks to our determination to embrace our shared humanity and to put solidarity into action. We challenge others to do the same,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

Since August, Rohingya children, women and men have fled Myanmar to escape rising violence. The Rohingya have long faced discrimination and persecution within Myanmar, but the escalation of conflict and allegations of ethnic cleansing have triggered a massive refugee crisis.

“As more than half a million Rohingya refugees have found safety in Bangladesh, the Unifor Social Justice Fund’s $50,000 contribution will help us, the UN Refugee Agency, to provide shelters to women, children and elderly who have trekked for weeks in the jungle, reunify separated children with their parents and provide them with life-saving medical and nutritional treatment,” said Jean-Nicolas Beuze, UNHCR Representative in Canada.

Each day thousands more Rohingya arrive in Bangladesh, exhausted, hungry, and in urgent need of medical attention.

“Right now, there are serious concerns about the risk of potential outbreaks of cholera, measles and respiratory illnesses in the makeshift settlements in Bangladesh, where most refugees are taking shelter. This contribution of $50,000 from the Unifor Social Justice Fund to Doctors Without Borders will help us scale up our response to prevent a public health disaster,” said Stephen Cornish, the Executive Director of Doctors Without Borders Canada.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).