By Jeyhun Aliyev
ANKARA (AA) – The European Commission released on Wednesday €31 million ($34.5 million) in humanitarian aid to address the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
"We are committed to supporting both refugees and host communities in Cox's Bazar, as well as to the vulnerable Rohingya in Myanmar," said Janez Lenarcic, EU commissioner for crisis management.
The aid, he added, will ensure that those most in need continue to receive life-saving assistance, while being protected from the effects of flood and other hazards.
Lenarcic said in a statement that it was important to maintain the support and not forget the people who "remain dependent on humanitarian aid to survive".
Out of the funding announced, the commissioner said €18.5 million will help vulnerable groups among refugees in Bangladesh with their healthcare, food assistance and education in emergencies while €3.5 million will go to build the local communities' capacities to "prepare for and manage natural disasters."
Some €6.5 million will be spent in Myanmar on helping communities in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states by providing healthcare, nutrition, education and shelter, whereas €2.5 million will boost the local preparedness system in case of conflict or natural disasters, according to the statement.
– 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 titled 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 vandalized, it added.