Politics

Rohingya refugee children endure devastating rainfall in Bangladesh: UNICEF

Heavy flooding and landslides in the Rohingya refugee camps of Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, has left thousands of children and families in an increasingly dire situation with critical infrastructure damaged or destroyed, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned on Tuesday, while scaling up relief efforts to those vulnerable children.

Conditions in the camps and host community are deteriorating rapidly because of the brutal weather," said Acting UNICEF Bangladesh Representative Alain Balandi Domsam, while stressing that the humanitarian needs here are only likely to grow over the coming days with more downpours expected.

According to the agency, vital infrastructure that children rely on such as learning centers and health facilities have been damaged or destroyed. To date, five UNICEF-supported centres have been heavily damaged, with over 750 partially damaged, interrupting the education of more than 60,000 children.

The risk of waterborne diseases is also growing, UNICEF said, pointing out that at least 47 water distribution points and networks, and over 600 latrines have been affected or damaged, increasing the risk of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD).

Meanwhile, the World Food Program (WFP) is also scaling up assistance to those displaced in the Cox's Bazar affected by devastating rains. WFP has prepositioned emergency supplies for more than 160,000 people in refugee camps. As of 8 July, the UN agency has assisted 6,000 people with extra food assistance and is racing to stabilize slopes vulnerable to landslides.

More than 500,000 Rohingya children are in need of humanitarian assistance in Cox's Bazar overall, and 80 percent of the refugees - who fled brutal violence and grave human rights abuses carried out by Myanmar security forces nearly 2 years ago - are entirely dependent on WFP food assistance.

UNICEF has appealed for $152.5 million to support the work for refugee children and those affected in host communities in 2019. The current funding gap is $68.7 million. It also costs WFP $24 million every month to feed those sheltering in what is the world's largest refugee operation, according to UN News.

Source: International Islamic News Agency