GENEVA / MYANMAR BANGLADESH UPDATE

03-Oct-2017 00:01:54
The UN refugee agency said today that any move to return over half a million Rohingya refugees can only take place if it is appropriate and they wish to do so. Meanwhile in Bangladesh’s overflowing refugee camps, humanitarian aid agencies have seen “an increasing trend of diarrhoeal disease cases,” raising concerns over a possible widespread outbreak of diarrhoea disease. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / MYANMAR BANGLADESH UPDATE
TRT: 1:54
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTION: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 03 OCTOBER 2017 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot of Press Room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“The issue here is the status of these people in Myanmar. This is where the root cause of this displacement lies. There are recommendations on how to address these root causes and we have voiced our call to implement the decisions of the commission led by Kofi Annan. Those were announced, the recommendations were announced, just prior to the outbreak of violence.”
4. Close up, journalist’s hands
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“And as for the discussions, at this stage these are bilateral discussion between the two countries. There were earlier examples of that. We are interested to learn more about these discussions and the details of those.”
6. Medium shot, journalist
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“Regardless of the modalities for us, it is important that the refugees decide, on their own, whether they want to return, and how and when, and the conditions on the ground need to be conducive for them to go back.”
8. Medium shot, journalists
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“We have clearly said from the outset they are refugees. They are fleeing what is a textbook refugee scenario. They are fleeing discrimination, persecution, and violence in the country where they lived. And for that reason they have crossed an international border into another country.”
10. Medium shot, journalist
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“We have seen an increasing trend of diarrhoeal disease cases including cases of diarrhoea with severe dehydration. So far, refugees with these conditions have been treated at clinics run by UNHCR and other agencies and at local public health facilities.”
12. Medium shot, spokespersons
13. Close up, journalist
14. Close up, journalist
STORYLINE
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said today (Tuesday) that any move to return over half a million Rohingya refugees can only take place if it is appropriate and they wish to do so. Meanwhile in Bangladesh’s overflowing refugee camps, humanitarian aid agencies have seen “an increasing trend of diarrhoeal disease cases,” raising concerns over a possible widespread outbreak of diarrhoea disease.

As the number of people crossing the border into Bangladesh continues to rise, humanitarian aid agencies are raising questions about how to address the root causes of this crisis and the recommendations that can be taken.

UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told reporters today (03 Oct) in Geneva “the issue here is the status of these people in Myanmar. This is where the root cause of this displacement lies,” adding that “there are recommendations on how to address these root causes and we have voiced our call to implement the decisions of the commission led by Kofi Annan. Those were announced, the recommendations were announced, just prior to the outbreak of violence.”

Asked on the status of talks between authorities in Bangladesh and Myanmar, Mahecic said “as for the discussions, at this stage these are bilateral discussions between the two countries,” adding that “there were earlier examples of that. We are interested to learn more about these discussions and the details of those.”

Regarding the status of refugees, Mahecic said “we have clearly said from the outset they are refugees. They are fleeing what is a textbook refugee scenario. They are fleeing discrimination, persecution, and violence in the country where they lived. And for that reason they have crossed an international border into another country.”

Asked about the possibility of refugee repatriation into Myanmar in light of the ongoing bilateral discussions between the two countries, Mahecic said “regardless of the modalities for us, it is important that the refugees decide, on their own, whether they want to return, and how and when, and the conditions on the ground need to be conducive for them to go back.”

While the bilateral discussions continue, it is now estimated that 507,000 refugees have crossed the border into Bangladesh since 25 August 2017, bringing with them concerns over the spread of disease, malnutrition, and dehydration.

UNHCR, Bangladesh public health authorities and other partners are working on several fronts to treat patients and contain an outbreak of diarrhoeal disease.

Mahecic said “we have seen an increasing trend of diarrhoeal disease cases including cases of diarrhoea with severe dehydration. So far, refugees with these conditions have been treated at clinics run by UNHCR and other agencies and at local public health facilities.”

In response to growing concerns, humanitarian aid agencies are now focusing efforts towards targeting the spread of dehydration and acute watery diarrhoea. By the end of this week, UNHCR plans to have a total of 80 beds in diarrhoea treatment centres in three locations, with the plan to open two more centres next week. This week, UNHCR also plans to open medical consultation centres with attached oral rehydration “corners” throughout the massive 809-hectare Kutupalong Extension Site.
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