Statement attributable to Jean Lieby, Chief Child Protection, UNICEF Bangladesh
COX’S BAZAR / SYDNEY 13 September 2017
– “We are facing an unprecedented influx of Rohingya refugees who are coming from Myanmar and crossing into Bangladesh. More than 370,000 people have taken refuge in the district of Cox’s Bazar since 25 August.
“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 6 days - between 4 and 10 September. We have no indication that this influx will stop soon. This is a growing humanitarian crisis and children are at the heart of this crisis. 60% of all refugees are children according to preliminary data.
“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. 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.”
For their Health
“As camps are growing every day we 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.”
For their Protection
“I am 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 AUD 9.1 million (USD 7.3 million) however more is needed as the refugee population is growing.
Notes for editors:
For more information contact:
Jean-Jacques Simon, Chief Communication UNICEF Bangladesh, +880 17 1304 3478, [email protected]
Christophe Boulierac, UNICEF Spokesperson in Geneva (on mission in Bangladesh), +41 799639244, [email protected]
Charlotte Glennie, UNICEF Australia, +61420 407 886, [email protected]
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