KEIGHLEY men who travelled to Bangladesh last autumn to help refugees in desperate circumstances have returned from a second aid mission to this country.

Razaq Hussain and Aroj Ali, together with Naseeb Abbas and Asif Nazir from Oldham, returned on January 25 after an eight day trip to help Rohingya Muslim refugees.

At least 850,000 Rohingya have been forced into Bangladesh from neighbouring Burma, fleeing a murderous wave of attacks by Burmese soldiers and Government backed militias.

The Rohingya now live in squalid, hopelessly overcrowded makeshift camps in south east Bangladesh, with no way of going back to their homes safely.

Mr Hussain, a Keighley businessman, said the refugees' plight has not improved since he and his colleagues first went to Bangladesh last October.

"If anything, conditions have got worse," he added. "There are even larger numbers of refugees, a lot more children, and there's still no long-term solution."

He, Mr Ali and the volunteers from Oldham undertook both aid missions under the banner of the group 1 Vision.

Last October they distributed £100,000 worth of aid to the Rohingya, and this time they distributed £50,000 worth of provisions, linking up with international charity Al-Imdaad Foundation, which provided the necessary on the ground support.

Mr Hussain said the latest items given out by 1 Vision last month included 12,000 hot meals, 2,000 25 kilo food packs, 1,900 blankets and 1,000 goody bags for children.

He said much of the money raised to enable this was collected in both Keighley and further afield through 1 Vision's £100 Challenge, where the group asked for 1,000 people to give £100 each.

Mr Hussain thanked all the businesses that contributed, including Keighley's Shimla Spice, Intercity Travel, Intercity Money, The Travel Centre and also the Taj restaurant, in Skipton.

"There was even one online donation of 2,000 dollars from someone in Canada," he said.

"We intend to go back for a third trip to Bangladesh during Ramadan, in June.

"When we went this time, the Bangladesh Army had things under control very well. They have a ration card system in place, so they now know where the aid is going, and where it's required.

"But the level of need has not declined. 95 per cent of the refugees say they are too scared to go home."