Rohingya crisis: 'Family counting' exercise underway in Bangladesh

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Thousands of new Rohingya refugee arrivals cross the border near Anzuman Para village, Palong Khali, Bangladesh. Photo: UNHCR/Roger Arnold

An exercise has begun to collect data on more than half a million newly-arrived Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Friday.

It will allow the government, UNHCR and other agencies to have a better understanding of the size and breakdown of this population and where they are located.

Dianne Penn reports.

The "family counting" exercise will also help identify those Rohingya refugees with special protection needs, such as single mothers with small infants, people with disabilities, or children and elderly refugees who are on their own.

Scores of the Muslim minority group have been fleeing violence in Myanmar since late August, settling in the Cox's Bazaar region in Bangladesh.

The total is now estimated at 536,000, who have joined some 200,000 others already in the area prior to the latest influx.

The family counting exercise is being led by Bangladesh's Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission.

It is in the initial stages and so far, nearly 18,000 households have been counted—more than 70,000 individuals.

Meanwhile, a donor conference will be held in Geneva on 23 October in efforts to raise US$434 million to address the immediate needs of the Rohingya refugees and the local communities hosting them.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration:1'03"

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