Canada is sending just over $8 million to agencies helping Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh as they prepare for monsoon storms.

International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says aid organizations are already overwhelmed by the massive influx of Muslim-minority refugees from neighbouring Myanmar.

But there are fears the situation will worsen as the region's rainy season approaches.

Of the up to $8.15 million in new aid money, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations and the World Food Program will each be given $1.5 million with the rest going mainly to other non-governmental organizations, the government says.

The funding comes in response to recommendations from Bob Rae, who was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last October as Canada's special envoy to Myanmar.

Prior to Friday's announcement, Canada had already committed more than $37.5 million in humanitarian assistance for the region.

It is estimated that more than 671,000 Rohingya refugees — mostly women and children — have fled to Bangladesh since last August to escape violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Calling the situation 'extremely disturbing," Bibeau said Canada's contribution will help improve sanitary services "to protect lives and prevent the spread of disease."

"The crisis in Myanmar has triggered the world's fastest-growing refugee and humanitarian crisis," Bibeau said in a statement.

"Canada's support has helped partners respond to the humanitarian needs of Rohingya refugees, but more help is needed ahead of the monsoon season."

The aid announcement came two days after senior officials in Myanmar announced they had begun talks with U.N. agencies to see how they could assist with the repatriation of Rohingya refugees back to Myanmar.

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