By Mutasim Billah
More than 200,000 Rohingya children, who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar, are at risk and they need urgent support, UNICEF said Tuesday.
“This is a growing humanitarian crisis and children are at the heart of this crisis,” Jean Lieby, chief of Child Protection of UNICEF Bangladesh, said in a news conference at Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar near Myanmar border.
According to preliminary data, Lieby said, 60 percent of the refugees are children.
“The first thing you see here in different Rohingya camps is
He said the UNICEF believes 200,000 Rohingya children need urgent support.
The UNICEF official also expressed deep concern for the separated children. “We have identified 1,128 children who are separated. However, we expect this number to increase a lot in the coming days”.
“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,” he added.
Since Aug, 25, more than 370,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine to Bangladesh, according to the UN.
The refugees are fleeing a fresh security operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages. According to Bangladesh, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.
Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will raise the issue at the UN.
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
Last October, following attacks on border posts in Rakhine's Maungdaw district, security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.
The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances committed by security personnel. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.