Three Turkish aid organizations are distributing fast-breaking meals (iftar) during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan to thousands of needy in the Gaza Strip, Yemen and Bangladeshi refugee camps hosting Rohingya Muslims.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip
Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) said Tuesday it will provide iftar meals to 1,000 people in the Gaza Strip every day.
On Monday, the first day of Ramadan, TIKA served a warm meal to about 1,000 needy families in southeastern Gaza, in the village of Hajar al-Dik.
Last year during Ramadan, TIKA distributed food packages to 1,000 impoverished Palestinian families in the same area.
Established in 1992, Turkey's government-run aid agency is responsible for implementing the country's developmental cooperation policies overseas.
The food aid to Gaza comes at time of heightened tension between the blockaded strip and the Israeli government. Over the weekend, Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip killed at least 25 Palestinians, including two pregnant women and two infants, and injured more than 100 others.
Hamas, the Palestinian group that governs Gaza, said Monday that a cease-fire deal had been brokered by Egypt, along with officials from Qatar and the U.N.
Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, the Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) provided food packages to 7,500 Rohingya living in camps near Cox's Bazar district on Tuesday.
A total of 3,000 refugees in the Jamtoli camp and 4,500 others in Balukhali and Gundam refugee camps received the aid.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, IHH representative in Bangladesh Andulhakim Mahmout said, "After the massacres in 2017, this is the second Ramadan that Rohingya Muslims are observing in these camps. There is a significant decrease in the aid coming here this year, although many Muslim countries were providing aid in previous years. We, as IHH, will continue to be a bridge between Rohingya Muslims and philanthropists in Turkey."
There are 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims living in the Kutupalong and Balukhali refugee camps in Bangladesh.
International aid agencies have called for more support for Rohingya refugees as the holy month of Ramadan begins.
As many as 91 teams of IHH will operate in 120 countries and regions including Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, the blockaded Gaza Strip, Arakan and East Turkestan, Bangladesh and Iraq during the Ramadan, said a statement issued by the charity.
The charity will also distribute clothes to 67,920 orphans and children in 43 countries on the Eid al-Fitr," the holiday at the holy month's conclusion.
Yemenis in southern Aden province
In Yemen, the Turkish Red Crescent is marking Ramadan by distributing iftar meals to poor families and refugees in southern Aden province.
Mustafa Aydın, a Red Crescent official, told Anadolu Agency that 500 meals were distributed Monday at Aden's Mahram camp to refugees coming from Al-Hudaydah province.
According to Aydın, a total of 3,000 meals will be delivered to refugees coming from Al-Hudaydah and Taiz province and to local orphanages in Aden.
In mid-April, the Turkish Red Crescent distributed 440 tons of aid -- representing some 11,000 food parcels -- to displaced persons in Yemen's Maarib province.
Yemen has been wracked by chaos since 2015, when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign against Yemen's Houthi rebel group.
Since then, thousands of people are believed to have been killed in the conflict, while the UN has warned that as many as 14 million Yemenis face the specter of starvation.
Since the conflict began, Turkey has been a major contributor of humanitarian aid to the war-weary country.
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