Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Wednesday allowed the departure of aircraft carrying humanitarian aid for refugees at the Myanmar-Bangladesh border.
“Thank God, we were able to dispatch the first stage of humanitarian aid to refugees from Rakhine state currently staying on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border,” Jokowi said in Jakarta as quoted by online news portal detik.com.
Jokowi said four Hercules-type aircraft are carrying the most needed items for refugees such as rice, ready meals, family kits, tents and blankets.
He said the aircraft will arrive in Chittagong, Bangladesh and travel about 170 kilometers (105 miles) to take the aid to Cox’s Bazar, a Rohingya refugee camp at the border of Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The aid distribution will be conducted by a humanitarian team from Indonesia in cooperation with local authorities.
Jokowi said the second stage of assistance will be sent to Myanmar next week.
Since Aug, 25, more than 370,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine to Bangladesh, according to the UN.
The refugees are fleeing a fresh security operation in which they have said security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.
According to the Bangladesh government, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.