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Rohingya crisis explained
Q: What is the Rohingya crisis? Who are the Rohingya?
A: Rohingya are ethnically from the Rakhine State in Myanmar. Since late August, horrific violence and persecution has driven over 670,000 of the minority Muslim Rohingya community to seek refuge across the border in Bangladesh. Women and children fleeing from Myanmar’s Rakhine state into Bangladesh – who make up almost 90 per cent of the refugees – have reported experiencing or witnessing horrific violence and persecution– accounts which UN officials say point to grave human rights violations.
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Q: How are Rohingya children affected?
A: More than 362,340 of the latest influx of new refugees since August 25 are children and making up 58% of the newly arrived Rohingya refugees. Altogether, about 703,000 children need urgent humanitarian assistance. These children are exceptionally vulnerable to death, disease, violence and exploitation. They are in urgent need of clean water, shelter, food, and medication. We must take every possible measure to ensure that these children are not deprived of their childhoods, and that they are given the chance to not only survive, but to thrive and reach their full potential. There are many traumatized, separated and unaccompanied children needing psychosocial support, family tracing and reunification and a protective environment.
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Q: What is UNICEF doing to help in Bangladesh?
A: UNICEF staff have been at Cox’s Bazar before the crisis began, and will be there as long as needed. We are having an immediate positive impact, but there is a critical need to scale up the response. UNICEF has been providing children with access to clean drinking water, food, vaccines, shelter, medical assistance, psychosocial support and education, but resources are being stretched to the limit. UNICEF Bangladesh has launched an aggressive response plan to reach more than 703,000 children caught in the emergency. UNICEF has appealed for‘$144.6 million USD to meet the urgent needs of Rohingya children and their families.
Some of the many humanitarian needs currently include:
- Over 16 million litres of clean water are required daily and 50,000 semi-permanent latrines need to be constructed or maintained.
- Prior vaccination coverage amongst new arrivals is very low and deadly outbreaks of communicable diseases such as measles and diphtheria have already occurred.
- Urgent nutrition needs have been prioritized for children under 5 (including infants), with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) rates as high as three per cent recorded.
- Over 400,000 Rohingya children are also in need of psychosocial support and other protection and education services.
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The situation in the camps is becoming more organized with more and more interventions being established. However, living conditions for these refugees are still shockingly sub-standard. There are still pressing needs around water provision and sanitation systems, access to health and medical care, access to nutrition screening and access to education and child protection systems. While a massive Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) campaign is underway, disease continues to present a risk. The number of cases of diarrhoeal disease has been high among refugee arrivals. Coupled with poor nutrition, the effects of any disease outbreak would likely be devastating for children. The need for improved water, hygiene and sanitation within the camps is a major pressing priority.
Q: What can you do to help the Rohingya children in crisis?
A: Donate to our Rohingya Relief Fund to send your donations directly to refugee children in need.
Page Last Updated: 25 October, 2017