By Murat Paksoy
ISTANBUL (AA) - Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) has so far reached 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims since the crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine state began unfolding in on Aug. 25, 2017.
According to a statement by the IHH, they have been providing food, water, shelter, personal care items and clothing as well as health and rehabilitation facilities to Rohingya families in Bangladesh, Myanmar, and India since 1996.
More than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children, and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into neighboring Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017, According to Amnesty International.
The IHH built 7,432 bamboo housing units equipped with solar panels with the intent to build 13,000 more, it said.
The housing units they have built were displayed as a model by the UN’s International Migration Organization (IMO) to other non-governmental organizations working for humanitarian aid in the area, it added.
Also, tents have been distributed to 16,365 families while straw mats have been given to 12,540 families who stay in camps both in Myanmar and Bangladesh, the statement said.
- Healthcare, access to clean water
On the first days of the crisis last year, the IHH opened three temporary health centers in Myanmar and Bangladesh, and helped with the treatment and logistics of 45 injured Rohingya.
The health centers conducted check-ups on a total of 109,750 people since their establishment.
Also, access to clean water was provided through 113 wells, 10 deep tube wells -- each with a storage capacity of 5,000 liters of water --, and 305 lavatories.
The statement went on to say that five rehabilitation centers were built for children and orphans living in camps in Cox’s Bazar.
The centers currently provide shelter, education, health, and nourishment for 1,094 children. An additional 678 children are given regular support within the organization’s orphan sponsorship program.
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.
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 and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.
The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces. In its report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.