DHAKA, Bangladesh – The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) on Monday completed a five-day-long distribution of food items among 5,000 Rohingya families in Bangladesh’s refugee camps.

“As part of our continuous support to the persecuted Rohingya Muslims, we have completed distribution of our first winter package,” Ismail Gundogdu, the state-run aid body’s Bangladesh coordinator, told Anadolu Agency.

He added that such support from the Turkish government to the stateless Rohingya community in Bangladesh would be continued.

Each family aid package included 5 kilograms of potatoes, 1 kilogram of chickpeas, half a kilogram of dried fish, half a kilogram of garlic, 2 kilograms of lentils, 1 kilogram of sugar and 2 kilograms of flour.

Gundogdu noted that the cooperation to help Rohingya was one of the top priorities in Bangladesh.

TIKA was founded in 1992 and today has offices in 60 countries. The agency opened an office in Bangladesh in 2014 and has carried out hundreds of projects since then.

In September this year, TIKA distributed 5,000 packages of dry food items among the Rohingya in Bangladesh’s southern district of Cox’s Bazar.

It also distributed healthcare items and food packages among Rohingya several times this year.

Until 2019, TIKA had distributed hot meals to approximately 25,000 Rohingya refugees on a daily basis.

– Persecuted people

The Rohingya, described by the UN 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, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017, pushing the number of persecuted people in Bangladesh above 1.2 million.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, entitled Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience.

As many as 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes burned down, while 113,000 others were vandalized, it added.

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