United Nations Children’S Fund (UNICEF) today said their estimate suggests the number of Rohingya refugees who fled home since the outbreak latest spate of violence on August 25 reached 400,000.
“Up to 400,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since August 25, with thousands more arriving every day,” the UNICEF said in a statement in the southeastern beach town, the scene of main influx of refugees fleeing their home in bordering Rakhine state of Myanmar.
The statement said around 60 percent of the refugees were children adding that the sheer number of refugees overwhelmed pre-existing refugee camps, “with new arrivals seeking shelter anywhere they can find space”.
UNICEF trucks filled with emergency water, sanitation and hygiene supplies for thousands of Rohingya children are headed to Cox’s Bazar, with a steady stream of supplies in the pipeline for the coming days and weeks.
“There are acute shortages of everything, most critically shelter, food and clean water,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF’s Representative in Bangladesh.
He added: “Conditions on the ground place children at risk of high risk of water-borne disease. We have a monumental task ahead of us to protect these extremely vulnerable children.”
According to UNICEF statement supplies included detergent powder, soap, and pitchers and jugs for containing water, along with nappies, sanitary napkins, towels and sandals the UN agency was also supporting the government Public Health Engineering Department with water treatment plants and carriers.
“UNICEF is (also) working with partners on the ground to install and rehabilitate tube wells,” it read
These items are part of a first wave of supplies that will massively scale-up UNICEF’s emergency response to the growing number of Rohingya children in Bangladesh,” Beigbeder said.
UNICEF has appealed for $US 7.3 million to provide emergency support to Rohingya children over the next four months.