Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs in view of the UN Food Programme’s decision to reduce the amount of food aid to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, whether Singapore is considering working with the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management to render assistance.
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan: Singapore has made contributions through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre) and contributed over S$1 million in bilateral aid to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of displaced persons from Rakhine State. Unfortunately, the current situation in Myanmar has complicated attempts to help displaced persons. Despite the challenges, ASEAN has pressed on with efforts to facilitate the safe, voluntary and dignified repatriation of refugees. Singapore has strongly supported these efforts.
ASEAN’s work has primarily focused on helping to improve ground conditions in Rakhine State to create conducive conditions for repatriation, including through the Preliminary Needs Assessment (PNA) and the ASEAN Secretariat’s Ad-Hoc Support Team established to monitor the implementation of the PNA. We are prepared to send further consignments of aid and stand ready to support future comprehensive needs assessments once repatriation commences so that we can be more targeted in helping displaced persons.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
3 March 2023