Turkish NGO delivers aid to 350,000 Rohingya

Published 27.10.2017 19:04
Turkish NGO delivers aid to 350,000 Rohingya

A Turkish charity has so far provided relief supplies to 350,000 Rohingya Muslims since the crisis began in Myanmar's Rakhine state on Aug. 25.

Since Aug. 25, 603,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the U.N.

The refugees are fleeing a military operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.

Aid, including food, clean water, hygiene supplies, tents, kitchenware and clothing, was distributed to Rohingya refugees, who are staying in camps both in Myanmar and Bangladesh, said Munevver Huseyin, Humanitarian Relief Foundation's (IHH) South Asia coordinator.

IHH, one of Turkey's leading aid groups, sends humanitarian aid to suffering people around the world, including war-torn-Syria, drought-hit Somalia, and Myanmar.

"We've sent aid to camps in [Bangladesh's] Cox's Bazar, IDP camps in Sittwe [provincial capital of Rakhine state], Maungdaw and Buthidaung towns [in western Myanmar]," Huseyin said in a statement.

"As IHH, we will not leave Rohingya people alone until the crisis comes to an end," she said.

Turkish agency IHH also set up three health centers-two in Bangladesh and one in Myanmar — and opened 50 toilets.

The agency also built bamboo-made temporary shelters for 450 families and opened 130 water wells.

The U.N. has accused Myanmar of allowing its security forces to engage in ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims.

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.

The 1.1 million Rohingya have faced decades of discrimination in Buddhist-majority Myanmar and been denied citizenship since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless.

Rights groups have accused the U.N. Security Council of dragging its feet on Myanmar and are calling for tougher measures such as an arms embargo and targeted sanctions against those responsible for the attacks against the Rohingya.

A recent report by the U.N. human rights office accused Myanmar of seeking to permanently expel the Rohingya, by planting land mines at the border with Bangladesh where the refugees are sheltering.

UN rights officials spoke to refugees who gave accounts of soldiers surrounding homes and firing indiscriminately as residents ran for their lives, and of uniformed men gang-raping women and girls.

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