Southeast Asian nations to set up humanitarian fund to help boat people

A Malaysian minister says Southeast Asian countries will establish a humanitarian fund to help boatloads of Rohingya Muslim and Bangladeshi immigrants who have recently landed in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand.

Malaysian Home Affairs Minister Zahid Hamidi also says Singapore has pledged $200,000 to the fund at a special regional meeting Thursday on the refugee crisis.

Since early May, more than 4,600 boat people from Myanmar and Bangladesh have come ashore in Southeast Asian waters. The United Nations estimates some 2,000 migrants could still be at sea after human smugglers abandoned their boats amid a regional crackdown.

Zahid says he has proposed that each Southeast Asian nation contribute $100,000 each to the fund.