Indonesia needs ‘help’ for migrants
18 May 2015, Nirapad News: The Indonesian city where about 1,500 migrants have landed after being abandoned at sea says it urgently needs help to care for them.
The mayor of Langsa, in Aceh province, told the BBC that finances were tight, reports the bbc.com
“We need some help, immediately, from our national government or any other institution,” said Usman Abdullah.
Thousands of people, fleeing persecution and poverty, are thought to be adrift in seas in Southeast Asia.
No country is willing to take in the migrants – who are mainly from the Rohingya ethnic minority in Myanmar. Only those whose boats sink or who reach land are being given shelter.
Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia have all been turning boats away, after giving them water and food.
Last week, Indonesian fishermen saved about 700 migrants from their sinking boat and brought them to Langsa.
Usman Abdullah said officials were using funds allocated for other uses to look after them and other migrants that had come ashore earlier.
“We [are temporarily financing] this humanitarian aid from our city budget. But in fact we have no budget for relief or emergency aid,” said Usman Abdullah.
“Our [financial] source is tightly limited actually.”
Abdullah said he had heard some aid groups were ready to help but that the city had not received any relief yet.