Tyrone businessmen launch appeal for Rohingya refugees

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Two Co Tyrone businessmen are appealing for local support for a charity responding to the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh.

Des Keenan of Kildress Plumbing, and Denis Loughrey, from Cookstown, were moved after reading newspaper reports about the response of aid agency Concern Worldwide to help tens of thousands of Rohingya people who fled violence in Myanmar and are now living in what’s become the world’s largest and fastest-growing refugee camps.

The men are calling on people in Cookstown and surrounding area to help raise money for the charity’s emergency appeal to provide essential household items and life-saving.

Des said: “After reading about the humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh, where almost one million people are living on a mucky hillside, I knew that we had to do something, however small, to try and help in the short term at least.

“We could all play our part in our own area, by organising a sponsored walk or a coffee morning, or collections in the work place or church collections.

“All of the money raised will go directly to Concern’s Rohingya Crisis appeal.”

Since the crisis began a year ago, Concern has screened more than half a million children under the age of five for malnutrition and treated 50,000 of them in our nine nutrition centres.

It has also provided emergency hygiene kits, sleeping mats, blankets and essential household items for 5,000 families.

The charity has also distributed dignity kits to 6,000 women who have no belongings, to help preserve their dignity in challenging living conditions, as well as providing them with the essentials for personal hygiene and protection.

Concern has been working in Bangladesh since 1972 and swiftly ramped up their response to meet the needs of recent Rohingya arrivals.

They have seven emergency nutrition centres up and running in various camps, with an eighth under construction.

If you would like to help, please contact Des by emailing des@kildressplumbing.com, or on 07768535626, or Denis on 07710014271, or denisloughrey@btinternet.com.