GENEVA / ROHINGYA REFUGEES UPDATE

10-Oct-2017 00:02:09
A sudden surge of over 11,000 refugees crossing the border from Myanmar into south-eastern Bangladesh on Monday has put the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) “back in a situation of full alert." UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / ROHINGYA REFUGEES UPDATE
TRT: 2:09
SOURCE: UNTV CH
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS
DATELINE: 10 OCTOBER 2017 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot of Press Room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Adrian Edwards, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“We are back in a situation of full alert as far as influxes are concerned. It is a big increase to see 11,000. We have had big numbers coming across by the day over the six weeks of this emergency so we are back up to some of those, approaching some of those, peak levels.”
4. Med shot, journalist
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Adrian Edwards, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“Many of the new refugees came from the Buthidaung area in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state. That is some 20 to 25 kilometres to the east of Maungdaw. Some said they had fled torching and killings back home. One boy was seen with a big gash across his neck. Others said they left in fear of anticipated violence.”
6. Close up, journalists
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson, United Nations World Health Organization (WHO):
“A massive cholera immunisation campaign started today near Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh to protect the newly arrived Rohingya and the host communities from the life-threatening diarrheal disease.”
8. Med shot of Press Room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson, United Nations World Health Organization (WHO):
“The decision to mobilise, plan, and implement the campaign reflects two dynamics. First, the clear and present risk of the spread of cholera among the target population. And second, the commitment of the health sector to take the preventative action needed to protect, promote, and secure health. If that means carrying out the world’s second largest OCV campaign ever, that is what we will do.”
10. Close up, journalist hands
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Adrian Edwards, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“It is a worrying situation, again, we don’t have sufficient visibility to be able to tell you if there is one cause to this or multiple. But people are coming across, we obviously have to be prepared.”
12. Wide shot, journalists
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Adrian Edwards, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“It’s half a million plus people in just these six weeks into Bangladesh. It’s still a situation that has potential to worsen. And as I’ve said, and I think others have said repeatedly, the help needs cannot be overstated at this time.”
14. Various shots, presser
STORYLINE
A sudden surge of over 11,000 refugees crossing the border from Myanmar into south-eastern Bangladesh on Monday has put the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) “back in a situation of full alert."

As more refugees join those already living in the bursting camps, the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have launched the “world’s second largest” oral cholera vaccination campaign ever to prevent the disease from taking hold among the Rohinghya refugees.

Following Monday’s sudden increase of refugee arrivals, UNHCR is working with the Bangladesh authorities to establish a transit centre to prepare for potential new arrivals in the coming days. “We are back in a situation of full alert as far as influxes are concerned,” UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards told reporters today in Geneva. “It is a big increase to see 11,000. We have had big numbers coming across by the day over the six weeks of this emergency so we are back up to some of those, approaching some of those, peak levels,” Edwards added.

This surge in arrivals has added to the over half a million refugees already living in the Bangladeshi refugee camps, and reinforces the need for humanitarian aid agencies to scale up their response as the situation could worsen in the coming weeks. “It’s half a million plus people in just these six weeks into Bangladesh,” said Edwards. “It’s still a situation that has potential to worsen. And as I’ve said, and I think others have said repeatedly, the help needs cannot be overstated at this time,” he added.

The newly arrived refugees are reported to have walked for up to 14 days to reach the border, many carrying children and baskets containing whatever belongings they would back at short notice. “Many of the new refugees came from the Buthidaung area in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state. That is some 20 to 25 kilometres to the east of Maungdaw,” said Edwards. “Some said they had fled torching and killings back home. One boy was seen with a big gash across his neck. Others said they left in fear of anticipated violence” he added.

Meanwhile the Bangladesh Ministry of Health with support from the WHO and UNICEF today launched the second largest oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaign ever - after Haiti in 2016. The campaign mobilised 900,000 doses of the vaccine in delivery to more than 200 mobile vaccination teams. “A massive cholera immunisation campaign started today near Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh to protect the newly arrived Rohingya and the host communities from the life-threatening diarrheal disease,” WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier told reporters today in Geneva.
The first round of the OCV campaign will cover 650,000 people aged one year and older. The second round will commence on 31 October 2017 and will target 250,000 children between one and five years with an additional dose of the vaccine for added protection.

“The decision to mobilise, plan, and implement the campaign reflects two dynamics,” said Lindmeier. “First, the clear and present risk of the spread of cholera among the target population. And second, the commitment of the health sector to take the preventative action needed to protect, promote, and secure health. If that means carrying out the world’s second largest OCV campaign ever, that is what we will do” Lindmeier added.

Although vaccination can provide life-saving protection against cholera, it supplements rather than replaces other traditional methods to control the diarrheal disease such as access to clean water, adequate sanitation, and good hygiene, according to the WHO.

In view of the potentially compounding effects of a growing refugee influx and the risk of cholera, humanitarian aid agencies continue to stress the importance of preparedness, despite being unable to pinpoint the root causes of the crisis. “It is a worrying situation, again, we don’t have sufficient visibility to be able to tell you if there is one cause to this or multiple,” said Edwards. “But people are coming across, we obviously have to be prepared,” he said.
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