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Turkey hands out winter aid to Rohingya in Bangladesh

LHOKSEUMAWE, INDONESIA - SEPTEMBER 7: Rohingya refugee women are seen at the Work Training Center (BLK) in Lhokseumawe City, Aceh Province, on September 7, 2020. According to officials, as many as 297 Rohingya refugees consisting of 104 men, 178 women and14 children are stranded into Aceh waters on early Monday. ( Khalis Surry - Anadolu Agency )
Rohingya refugee women are seen at the Work Training Center (BLK) in Lhokseumawe City, Aceh Province, on September 7, 2020 [Khalis Surry - Anadolu Agency]

Turkey's state aid agency on Sunday finished handing out blankets to 5,000 Rohingya families in Bangladesh's refugee camps on the eve of the arrival of winter, Anadolu Agency reports.

"As part of our winter gifts to the Rohingya Muslims we have completed distribution of blankets to 5,000 Rohingya families. We will continue our support to the persecuted refugees throughout the whole winter season, which will hit Bangladesh in full swing starting in mid-December," Ismail Gundogdu, Bangladesh coordinator for the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), told Anadolu Agency.

The winter season could hit the Rohingya refugees in southeastern Bangladesh hard, according to refugees and locals.

Gundogdu added: "Since the very beginning of the Rohingya crisis in massive form following the August 2017 exodus, TIKA has been actively working to support the stateless people."

READ: Saudi pressuring Bangladesh to issue passports to Rohingya

Last week TIKA also completed a five-day distribution of food items among 5,000 Rohingya families in the camps.

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.

This September, the agency distributed 5,000 packages of dry food items among the Rohingya in Bangladesh's southern district of Cox's Bazar.

Several times this year it also distributed healthcare items and food packages among Rohingya refugees.

Through 2019, TIKA had distributed hot meals to approximately 25,000 Rohingya refugees on a daily basis since Aug. 25, 2017 brutal military clampdown in Myanmar's Rakhine State that forced more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, to flee Myanmar and cross into Bangladesh, pushing the number of persecuted people in Bangladesh above 1.2 million.

READ: Myanmar soldiers confess to mass murder and rape of Rohingya Muslims

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