GENEVA / ROHINGYA UNHCR UPDATE

06-Oct-2017 00:01:37
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is extremely concerned about the continuing influx of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh from Myanmar. UNHCR said the “voluntary return of refugees in safety and dignity remains a viable option,” and stressed the critical need “for the root causes to be addressed.” UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / ROHINGYA UNHCR UPDATE
TRT: 1:44
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTION: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 06 OCTOBER 2017 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, Press Room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Spokesperson:
“According to the latest estimates, some 515,000 have fled from Myanmar since 25 of August, and more people continue to arrive every week.”
4. Wide shot, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Spokesperson:
“The emergency assistance is focused on refugee protection, shelter, water and sanitation and bolstering the capacity of the local communities across south-east Bangladesh. Relieving also overcrowding in the two existing camps - Kutupalong and Nyapara - which are now twice their population prior to the latest crisis - is also a priority.”
6. Wide shot, journalists
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Spokesperson:
“More than half of the new arrivals are women, including mothers with small children and infants. There are also many older people and people with disabilities. Illness, injuries and trauma as a result of extreme violence, torture and sexual abuse exacerbate their hardship.”
8. Wide shot, journalists
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Spokesperson:
“In light of the scope and speed of displacement, UNHCR declared a ‘Level 3 Emergency’ - the top level - for this crisis in mid-September.”
10. Wide shot, journalists
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Spokesperson:
“It is vital, even at this stage, that the response reflects mid- and long-term needs, while at the same time ensuring that voluntary return of refugees in safety and dignity remains a viable option.”
12. Close up, journalist hands
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Spokesperson:
“While addressing the urgent and immediate refugee needs in Bangladesh, we also remain concerned about the continuing influx from Myanmar and we stress once again the need for the root causes to be addressed.”
14. Close-up journalist’s computer
STORYLINE
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is extremely concerned about the continuing influx of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh from Myanmar. UNHCR said the “voluntary return of refugees in safety and dignity remains a viable option,” and stressed the critical need “for the root causes to be addressed.”

UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told reporters today (06 Oct) in Geneva “it is vital, even at this stage, that the response reflects mid- and long-term needs, while at the same time ensuring that voluntary return of refugees in safety and dignity remains a viable option.”

From the outset, UNHCR has been supporting the response managed by the Bangladeshi authorities and all partners to help organise the effective delivery of aid and services for refugees.

Mahecic said “while addressing the urgent and immediate refugee needs in Bangladesh, we also remain concerned about the continuing influx from Myanmar and we stress once again the need for the root causes to be addressed.”

Mahecic reminded reporters that “in light of the scope and speed of displacement, UNHCR declared a ‘Level 3 Emergency’ - the top level - for this crisis in mid-September”. Since September, the number of refugees who are crossing the border into Bangladesh continues to grow.

He added “according to the latest estimates, some 515,000 have fled from Myanmar since 25 of August, and more people continue to arrive every week.”

Among the refugees are large numbers of children, many of them unaccompanied or have been separated from their families, along with vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities.

Mahecic said “more than half of the new arrivals are women, including mothers with small children and infants. There are also many older people and people with disabilities.”

He added “illness, injuries and trauma as a result of extreme violence, torture and sexual abuse exacerbate their hardship.”

As UNHCR continues to ramp-up aid efforts, they are urgently seeking additional funds of US$83.7 million for the next six months to help the more than half a million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The supplementary appeal is meant to meet the urgent additional requirements of the humanitarian response from September 2017 through to February 2018 and help to alleviate overcrowding in the refugee camps.

Mahecic said “the emergency assistance is focused on refugee protection, shelter, water and sanitation and bolstering the capacity of the local communities across south-east Bangladesh,” adding that “relieving also overcrowding in the two existing camps - Kutupalong and Nyapara - which are now twice their population prior to the latest crisis - is also a priority.”

In addition to protection, shelter and sanitation work in the south-east of Bangladesh, UNHCR has also organised five airlifts thus far, flying some 500 metrics tonnes of aid. More flights are planned in the coming weeks and UNHCR has also doubled the number of staff in Bangladesh to nearly 100. UNHCR has committed to continuing to expand their work and operations, presence and staff, throughout the south-east of Bangladesh as needed.
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