A top U.N. official on Thursday urged greater financial support as monsoon season approaches some 1 million Rohingya Muslims taking shelter in refugee camps in Bangladesh.
"We expect the international community to step up and increase their monetary contribution," Natalia Kanem, U.N. under-secretary general, told a press conference in the capital Dhaka capping her four-day visit to Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue. The U.N. in March appealed for $950 million in humanitarian assistance for 1 million Rohingya and 300,000 locals affected by the refugee influx, she said. Only 17 percent of the money has so far been received, said Kanem, also head of the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA).
Since Aug. 25, 2017, some 750,000 Rohingya, mostly children and women, have fled to bordering Bangladesh after Myanmar forces began a crackdown on the minority Muslim community, according to Amnesty International. At least 9,000 Rohingya were killed in Myanmar's Rakhine state from Aug. 25 to Sept. 24, 2017, according to Doctors Without Borders. In a report published last December, the global humanitarian group said the deaths of 71.7 percent or 6,700 Rohingya were caused by violence. They include 730 children below the age of 5.
Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has raised the issue at the U.N. The Rohingya, described by the U.N. as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
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