Rohingya refugees wait for boat to cross a canal. -Reuters
Over 200,000 Rohingya children are at risk following their flight from Myanmar to Bangladesh's Cox Bazar, says Bangla-desh Chief of UNICEF's Child Protection Jean Lieby.
In a briefing on Tuesday, Lieby expressed his concern at the 'unprecedented speed and scale' of the influx of the Rohingya minority to Bangladesh, pointing out that 220,000 of the over 370,000 to make the crossing thus far had done so in only six days.
"Sixty percent of all refugees are children according to preliminary data," Lieby said. "This is a growing humanitarian crisis and children are at the heart of this crisis."
Many children suffer from sleep deprivation, are weak and hungry, Lieby said. Many who made the journey are sick and need urgent healthcare. There is also the need to set up protection and psychological support for children traumatized by the events.
"They are at incredible risk." The official expressed particular concern for the documented 1,128 children who have been separated from their families.
Lieby has requested a minimum fund of $7.3 million to provide safe drinking water, basic sanitation, disease prevention, hygiene and other services. However, more funds may be required as the refugee population grows, he noted.
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