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COX’S BAZAR, BANGLADESH, May 26, 2021 — Baitulmaal, a Dallas-based international humanitarian relief agency, recently delivered emergency aid to 2,595 Rohingya displaced from shelters impacted by campfires in Bangladesh.
Approximately 519 refugee families received food packages in addition to household items such as pots and other kitchen necessities, clothing, hygiene kits, umbrellas, floor mats and tarpaulin after losing everything in a large campfire.
The fire, which broke out on March 22, 2021, at the Balukhali Rohingya camp, spread quickly through adjacent camps and caused widespread destruction. Elizabeth Sohail, program manager at Baitulmaal, said field workers mobilized quickly to assist those who were affected by the fire.
“They’ve had to cope with so much loss since being violently forced out of their homes,” Sohail said, referring to the ethnic cleansing campaigns of the Myanmar military. “Our world needs more hope and less hate, which is why our donors are helping the Rohingya.”
Over 800,000 Rohingya refugees live in overcrowded camps in Cox’s Bazar, a refugee settlement on the southern border of Bangladesh. Thousands of shelters were destroyed in the March fire, displacing its residents, injuring many and killing 15. It was the largest fire this year to date in an area where such tragedies are increasingly common. Makeshift shelters are susceptible to weather-related disasters, and the lack of proper hygiene and heating facilities puts residents at risk for disease outbreaks and accidental fires.
The Rohingya, a minority Muslim population in Myanmar, are considered to be one of the most persecuted people in the world today. UN investigators cited escalations in violence, including “killings, rapes and gang rapes, torture, forced displacement and other grave rights violations,” by predominantly Buddhist military forces that led to the massive refugee crisis in 2017. Since then, nearly a million Rohingya have fled their native Rakhine state, the majority of whom now live in refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh. According to the UN, those who remain in Myanmar face a “serious risk that genocidal actions may occur or recur.” For those who escaped with their lives, conditions in the refugee camps are poor, with virtually all residents in need of humanitarian assistance.
In addition to emergency assistance, Baitulmaal has been on the ground in Bangladesh providing food and winter aid to Rohingya refugees. If you would like to learn more or contribute to these programs at Baitulmaal, please visit their website at Baitulmaal.org.
Baitulmaal is an international humanitarian aid organization that provides life-saving, life-sustaining and life-enriching aid to people in need around the world. With headquarters in Dallas, Texas, the charity has offices in: Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Nairobi, Kenya; Mogadishu, Somalia; Amman and Al Ramtha, Jordan; and Karachi, Pakistan.
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