Commonwealth nation Bangladesh is receiving support from the UN to try to cope with the constant influx of Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution in Myanmar
Commonwealth nation Bangladesh is receiving support from the UN to try to cope with the constant influx of Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution in Myanmar.
United Nations agencies and their partners are working within the refugee camps to provide aid and shelter amidst a surge in reports of malnutrition, particularly in children.
Between November 2-3, 2017 more than 3,000 Rohingya arrived in Bangladesh to join over 820,000 refugees who had already crossed the border and were living in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar.
These latest arrivals had delayed their flight until the harvest in order to raise funds for their journey, with many now seeking to find family members who had travelled earlier.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are distributing food supplies and tokens and offering medical care for arrivals at the Anjuman Para border crossing.
UNHCR is also increasing relief efforts to cope with the latest refugee influx to Kutupalong camp near Cox’s Bazar, whilst the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has set up a reception area in the Bangladeshi city to provide emergency assistance and self-settlement kits to new arrivals.
Preliminary data from a nutrition assessment conducted recently at Kutupalong camp shows a 7.5% occurrence of life-threatening acute malnutrition, double the rate seen among child refugees in May 2017, according to UNICEF.
They are treating more than 2,000 acutely malnourished children at 15 treatment centres, with six more being set up.
IOM reports say that refugees may have walked for up to 10 days to reach the border, with nothing to eat or drink beyond the first few days.
UN agencies are also working to identify and treat diarrhoea and pneumonia and conduct vaccination and nutrition screenings.
This latest refugee influx comes as the UN refugee agency released a new report on discrimination, exclusion and persecution of the world’s stateless minorities, warning that immediate action needed to be taken to secure equal nationality rights.
The report, `This Is Our Home: Stateless minorities and their search for citizenship’, states that over 75% of the world’s known stateless populations are made up of minority groups.
Protracted marginalisation leads to resentment, increased fear, and as with the Rohingya people, can lead to displacement in the most extreme cases.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said: “Stateless minorities, like the Rohingya, often suffer from entrenched discrimination and a systematic denial of their rights.
“In recent years, important steps have been taken to address statelessness worldwide… however new challenges, like growing forced displacement and arbitrary deprivation of nationality, threaten this progress.
UNICEF Bangladesh Representative Edouard Beigbeder said: “The Rohingya children in the camp – who have survived horrors in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state and a dangerous journey here… are now at risk of dying from an entirely preventable and treatable cause.”
“The humanitarian community needs to be able to do far more to treat and protect these extremely vulnerable children.”
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