UN urges more support for Rohingya in arc of misery

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UNITED NATIONS, Oct 20 (APP):The U.N. migration agency has urged the international community to boost its support for Rohingya Muslims, fleeing Myanmar in the face of misery between the southeast country’s Rakhine State and Bangladesh.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) warned on Thursday that thousands will suffer if there is not greater
support for food, shelter and healthcare for an estimated 800,000 refugees, now residing in Bangladesh.
“The world has rarely witnessed a refugee crisis of such speed, with more than half a million crossing into
Bangladesh in just over a month, said the IOM’s Director General William Lacy Swing after a visit to Cox’s Bazar,
Bangladesh.
As of Thursday, at least 589,000 new arrivals from Rakhine State have been recorded in Bangladesh since Aug 25,
spurred by clearing operations conducted by Myanmar’s Tatmadaw army.
“The arc of misery that exists between Northern Rakhine state and Cox’s Bazar is deeply upsetting “ too many people
suffering desperately with too little support, said Swing.
In a report released on Friday, UNICEF said that 61 percent of the refugees are children “ a shocking proportion of
whom are suffering from malnutrition.”
“This crisis is stealing their childhoods. We must not let it steal their futures at the same time. Or the region will pay
the price for many years to come, the agency’s Executive Director,” Anthony Lake, said.
UNICEF’s report describes a dire situation of children in refugee camps in Bangladesh, forced to assist their families
to find food, build shelter and collect water in squalid conditions. Many have witnessed murders and molestation in
Myanmar.
There are at least 882 unaccompanied or separated children in the camps, it said. IOM’s Swing said “I saw women
carrying small babies, only a few days old, sometimes born while their young mothers were fleeing deadly violence in
torrential rains. I saw young children, who had lost not just their parents, but any remnants of hope.”
Earlier in October, UNICEF launched a campaign to raise US$76.1 million for its emergency humanitarian response
to the Rohingya crisis. Its report on Friday said that only 7 percent of the appeal has been funded to date. Moreover,
it needs US$13 million for operations to support children within Myanmar.
The crisis shows no sign of abating. Some 15,000 people fled into Bangladesh on Oct 16 alone, according to the
UN refugee agency.
Renewed violence broke out in the Rakhine in late August after Rohingya militants attacked police and military outposts.
The Tatmadaw has now been accused of widespread arson, extrajudicial killings and rape.