A Turkish charity has distributed aid to the oppressed Rohingya refugees, who took shelter in Bangladesh, in a bid to help them to earn a living. A total of 400 sewing machines, 60 passenger vehicles and 30 cargo vehicles were delivered to refugee families by the Istanbul-based Sadakataşı Association.
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. According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017. Bangladesh currently hosts 1.2 million Rohingya refugees. Nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar military since Aug. 25, 2017, according to the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA), while more than 34,000 were thrown into fires and over 114,000 others were beaten. Another 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar's army and police and more than 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned and 113,000 others vandalized.
According to U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock, who visited refugee camps in Bangladesh in April, there has been "no progress" in dealing with the reasons why Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh from western Myanmar's Rakhine State. He said Myanmar has failed "to put in place confidence-building measures that would persuade people it's safe to go back." He said all the refugees he spoke to didn't think it was safe to return and want to be assured of things like freedom of movement and access to education, jobs and services.
U.N. officials say that almost half the 540,000 refugee children under age 12 are missing out on education and the rest are only getting very limited schooling. "I think the world ought to worry about what this very large group of people will be like in 10 years' time if they don't get an opportunity to access education and a chance to develop a livelihood and have a normal life," Lowcock has said.
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