GENEVA / BANGLADESH

19-Sep-2017 00:01:53
As the number of Rohingya refugees arriving in Bangladesh is rising by some 20,000 per day, the risks posed by acute malnutrition, inadequate water supplies and sanitation facilities are becoming increasingly apparent, according to UN humanitarian agencies. UNTV CH
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STORY: UN / BANGLADESH
TRT: 01:53
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 19 SEPTEMBER 2017, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / RECENT
SHOTLIST
RECENT, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Exterior, Palais des Nations

19 SEPTEMBER 2017, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, press room
3. Med shot, journalists
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Joel Millman, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Spokesperson: “We are using now the figure of a few minutes ago of 421,000. It gives you an idea of how swiftly things are changing. The head of emergency operations Mohammed Abdiker, told us just a few minutes ago, they are seeing 20,000 people a day arriving.”
5. Med shot, journalists
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Marixie Mercado, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Spokesperson:
“Over a quarter of a million children have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh in the past 25 days. And we are learning more now about the real risks that children face. In recent days over 23,000 children below five years old were screened for malnutrition in a number of different sites across Cox’s Bazar.”
7. Close up, journalist
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Marixie Mercado, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Spokesperson:
“The conditions that underlie or aggravate malnutrition are poor childcare or feeding practices, a lack of safe water, sanitation, and healthcare. In Cox’s Bazar, people are literally living on top of each other. There is an acute shortage of safe water.”
9. Close up, journalist
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Aslam Khan, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Spokesperson:
“Many have fallen ill, particularly small children. There is urgent need for more latrines to reduce risks of a spread of disease with so many people living in close quarters. Many also complained of hunger and said they had eaten little on their journey, which took them up to ten days on foot.”
11. Wide shot, journalists
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Marixie Mercado, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Spokesperson:
“The priority now is to prevent a humanitarian crisis from turning into a humanitarian disaster.”
13. Med shot, journalists
STORYLINE
As the number of Rohingya refugees arriving in Bangladesh is rising by some 20,000 per day, the risks posed by acute malnutrition, inadequate water supplies and sanitation facilities are becoming increasingly apparent, according to UN humanitarian agencies.

A quarter of a million children fleeing violence in Myanmar’s North Rakhine State are especially at risk, a United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) spokesperson said in Geneva today (19 Sep).

Marixie Mercado said “over a quarter of a million children have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh in the past 25 days. And we are learning more now about the real risks that children face,” adding that “in recent days over 23,000 children below five years old were screened for malnutrition in a number of different sites across Cox’s Bazar.”

According to UNICEF, about 13 percent of the children screened for malnutrition in recent days are reported to be acutely malnourished. UNICEF reports that children who suffer the most severe kind of malnutrition are up to nine times as likely to die of diseases such as cholera, or malaria, or measles, as a well-nourished child, which raises considerable concerns for the escalating situation in the border area known as Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.

Mercado said “the conditions that underlie or aggravate malnutrition are poor childcare or feeding practices, a lack of safe water, sanitation, and healthcare,” adding that “in Cox’s Bazar, people are literally living on top of each other. There is an acute shortage of safe water.”

The steady stream of refugees has forced the UN's lead agency for the relief efforts in Bangladesh, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), to adjust the current estimates for the total number of people displaced from Myanmar into Bangladesh since 25 August.

International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Spokesperson Joel Millman told reporters “we are using now the figure of a few minutes ago of 421,000. It gives you an idea of how swiftly things are changing,” and added that “the head of emergency operations Mohammed Abdiker, told us just a few minutes ago, they are seeing 20,000 people a day arriving.”

According to IOM, many of the new arrivals have walked for days through jungle in intense heat and monsoon rains. IOM has reported that many of the refugees are sick and malnourished by the time they reach the already teeming settlements in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. With many families having no access to clean water or latrines, the very young and the old are at greatest risk from water borne and contagious diseases, according to IOM.

In response to the growing crisis, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has continued to ramp up operations with a main focus over the weekend and early this week turning to moving recent arrivals to a new Extension Site next to the Kutupalong camp near Cox’s Bazar. UNHCR reports that the government has allocated some 2,000 acres for the refugees, which UNHCR site planners estimate will be sufficient to house 150,000 or more individuals.

UNHCR reports that the refugees arriving to the newly established camps have suffered from cold and rain during their journey from Myanmar.

UNHCR Spokesperson Aslam Khan said “many have fallen ill, particularly small children.”

Khan added that “there is urgent need for more latrines to reduce risks of a spread of disease with so many people living in close quarters. Many also complained of hunger and said they had eaten little on their journey, which took them up to ten days on foot.”

With the number of refugees having arrived since late August growing daily, the humanitarian challenges have become immense.

Mercado said “the priority now is to prevent a humanitarian crisis from turning into a humanitarian disaster.”
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