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KOICA launches massive aid program for Rohingya refugees

All Headlines 16:48 January 23, 2019

By Lee Chi-dong

SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea launched its largest-scale civilian-government program Wednesday to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh with the delivery of 100,000 gas cookers, Seoul's state aid agency said.

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has teamed up with the Join Together Society (JTS), an international aid organization based in Seoul, and the World Food Program (WFP) for the program to benefit half a million refugees in Cox's Bazar.

It will enable them to cook rice offered by the WFP instead of engaging in the often troubled search for firewood, a cause of deforestation and accidents.

Lee Mi-kyung, president of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), delivers a packaged gas cooker to a Rohingya refugee in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on Jan. 23, 2019, in this photo provided by the agency. (Yonhap)

"The delivery of gas cookers this time is more meaningful not just as it will improve the life of Rohingya refugees but also conforms to the U.N.'s sustainable development goals (SDGs): gender equality (Goal 5), climate action (Goal 13), life on land (Goal 15) and partnerships for the goals (Goal 17)," KOICA President Lee Mi-kyung said at a related ceremony held in the southern coastal town of Cox's Bazar.

Beopryun, a South Korean monk who founded the JTS, and David Kaatrud, head of the WFP's Asia-Pacific bureau, also attended the ceremony.

The camp for Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladeshi, in shown in this photo provided by Korea International Cooperation Agency. (Yonhap)

As many as one million Rohingya people have taken shelter in the area, fleeing the humanitarian crisis from escalating violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State.

KOICA contributed 400 million won (US$354,000) for the project, and the JTS provided 1 billion won. The WFP will be in charge of supplying fuel and teaching how to use the device.


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