The Islamic ministry has admitted that US$1 million raised last year for Rohingya Muslim refugees has not been handed over to the Bangladesh Red Crescent.
“Administrative matters” have been completed and the money will be sent over as soon as possible, the ministry said in a statement released late Monday night after newspaper Mihaaru reported that the funds have yet to reach the humanitarian organisation.
The ministry did not offer any reasons for the delay but assured that it would make sure the funds reach the refugees.
The admission comes more than four months after Islamic Minister Dr Ahmed Ziyad told the press that the money would be delivered within a week.
Large donations were made by the public, state-owned companies and private businesses to the fundraising activities coordinated by the government, including a nationwide telethon and charity football match.
Media reports about the persecution of the Rohingya ethnic minority at the time prompted several groups to organise fundraising activities amidst an outpouring of sympathy for the fellow Sunni Muslims.
The private broadcaster Raajje TV raised more than MVR4 million to help the refugees fleeing violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Marches also took place on several islands as the Maldives severed trade relations with Myanmar in protest against “the atrocities being committed against Rohingya Muslims.”
Photo: Public Service Media