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Over 2 lakh Rohingya children at risk: Unicef

12 September 2017,Tuesday, 22:19

The Unicef has said over 2 lakh Rohingya children are now at risk in Bangladesh.

"This is a growing humanitarian crisis and children are at the heart of this crisis. Some 60 percent of all refugees are children according to preliminary data," said Jean Lieby, Chief Child Protection, Unicef Bangladesh on Tuesday.

The Unicef official said they are facing an unprecedented influx of Rohingya refugees who are coming from Myanmar and crossing into Bangladesh.

"The scale and the speed of this influx is unprecedented in Bangladesh. Just to give you an idea: 220,000 people entered Bangladesh in only six days - between 4 and 10 September. We have no indication that this influx will stop soon," reads a briefing note UNB received from Geneva.

"The first thing you see here in the different Rohingya camps is the large number of children. You see children who have not slept for days, they are weak and hungry," said the official.

After such a long and challenging journey, many children are sick and they need health care right away. Children are traumatised.

They need protection and psychological support. "We also see pregnant mothers and we know that many babies were born since their mothers’ arrival in Bangladesh. We believe that 200,000 Rohingya children need our urgent support."

These children are at the forefront of this humanitarian crisis. They are at incredible risk.

As camps are growing every day, Unicef says they need to provide safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

"We want to prevent the incidence of water-borne diseases. There are many vulnerable people in the camps with the high percentage of children, women and elderly who are living in limited space with very poor hygiene conditions. Water borne diseases are extremely dangerous for children in this type of situation. We need to prevent that from happening," reads the briefing note.

The Unicef official said they are particularly concerned for the children separated. "So far, thanks to our partners and our network of child friendly spaces and learning centers, so far, we have identified 1,128 children who are separated. However, we expect this number to increase a lot in the coming days."

Additional supplies are being brought to Cox Bazar from Dhaka and from Copenhagen where Unicef’s supply hub is located.

The minimum funding requirement is $US 7.3 million. However, more is needed as the refugee population is growing.


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