With the recent surge of violence, the need for Rohingya relief efforts continues to rise. The attacks have been brutal, and with no bounds. The United Nations human rights chief has declared it a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
Zakat Foundation of America first responders are on the grounds along the border of Bangladesh and Myanmar. They are receiving, assessing, and serving Rohingya Muslims arriving at the border injured, hungry, tired and traumatized.
The Zakat Foundation of America team is working hard to bring urgent relief to the victims of these atrocious crimes. In just two days, Zakat Foundation of America set up a medical camp with five physicians and several more nurses treating 1,400 Rohingya, mostly women and children who had become ill or injured during their long trek to safety. In just two days, Zakat Foundation of America handed food packages to 1000 starving families.
In the coming weeks, Zakat Foundation of America will continue to conduct mass distributions of food packages, hygiene kits, sleeping mats with blankets, and provide continued medical treatment. Zakat Foundation of America will also explore the possibility of establishing a permanent health clinic and refugee camp in the region.
The Rohingya Crisis
The Rohingya minority which is indigenous to Burma has been unjustly classified as foreign in their own homeland. For decades now, they have been stateless, and severely persecuted. Since the recent genocidal onslaught that broke out in Rakhine, over 400,000 Rohingya have run for their lives, hiding in jungles and mountains with no refuge. As many as 300,000 Rohingya have been forced to flee by sea into neighboring Bangladesh. Their homes and entire villages have been set ablaze as evidenced by satellite photos from the Human Rights Watch. Along their terrible trek toward safety, thousands have been killed, thousands more have drowned, and those who survived the journey bring with them stories of murder and rape, trauma and despair.
Zakat Foundation of America Rohingya Relief: Ten Years and Counting
For ten years Zakat Foundation of America has consistently provided Rohingya refugees and IDPs a lifeline of food aid, hygiene kits, resettlement assistance, and income-generating programs to help rebuild their lives after losing everything.
Our food packages, including fresh locally slaughtered meat, have reached Rohingya refugees in Malaysia, Bangladesh, India, and the United States.
The Zakat Foundation of America Rickshaw Campaign lifted 150 Rohingya refugee families out of poverty in India. This is a sustainable development initiative in which each family is gifted a rickshaw for generating reliable income.
In the United States, Zakat Foundation of America provided resettlement assistance for Rohingya refugees in Houston, Buffalo, and Chicago. Zakat Foundation of America has established the Rohingya Culture Center (RCC) to create a safe cultural space for Rohingya refugees resettling in Chicago. The center offers enrichment classes in computer skills, English language, financial literacy, youth mentoring, tutoring, and more.