CHICAGO, SEPTEMBER 27, 2017 — Zakat Foundation of America’s (ZF) first responders are on the grounds along the border of Bangladesh and Myanmar. ZF team members are receiving, assessing, and serving the Rohingya who have fled the devastating trauma in Myanmar.
In response to the attacks on the Rohingya Muslims, ZF assembled a medical camp and treated 1,400 Rohingya men, women and children. Food packages of salt, rice, cooking oil, lentils, baby food and water purifying tablets were also passed out to 1,000 starving families.
“I cannot describe to you what I am seeing, every misery you can imagine exists here,” said ZF’s Bangladesh Director Nahid Sultana.
More than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have been running for their lives since August 24, hiding in jungles and mountains with no refuge.
“According to the government of Bangladesh, 800,000 Rohingya people are at their border, so the tragedy is worse than we think”, said ZF Executive Director Halil Demir. “They are living in dire conditions. Our response needs to reflect their conditions”, said Demir.
ZF has consistently provided a lifeline of food, hygiene, resettlement assistance, and income-generating programs for 10 years so the Rohingya can rebuild their lives after losing everything. With the heightened onslaughts of ethnic cleansing, the need continues to rise.
Mr. Halil Demir urges international humanitarian organizations to request the Burmese government to permit NGOs access to enter the camps in the south so that traumatized children can receive aid.
ZF is in the process of establishing a free health clinic and a refugee camp. In the meantime, ZF will continue to provide food, water, hygiene kits, and sleeping mats.