By SM Najmus Sakib
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - Japan has decided to extend approximately $17 million as additional support to Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya minority taking refuge in southeast Bangladesh.
The additional funds will also be used for the betterment of host communities in the town of Cox’s Bazar, the Japanese embassy in Dhaka said Tuesday.
The support includes site management of refugee camps; community empowerment; shelter upgrade; child protection; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities; medical services and training; environmental rehabilitation; life skills and livelihood improvement and nutritional improvement, the statement said.
The Japanese government took the decision on Jan. 30 this year, it added.
Since the massive influx of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh in August 2017, Japan had granted approximately $95 million to international organizations and non-governmental organizations, which now totals approximately $112 million in assistance.
The Japanese government will extend assistance in Cox’s Bazar through UN agencies.
They comprise the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the World Food Programme, Japan Platform (JPF).
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, have 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, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience".
Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down while 113,000 others were vandalized, it added.