GENEVA ROHINGYA LANDSLIDES

12-Jun-2018 00:01:43
Aid teams are in a “race against time” to help up to 200,000 Myanmar refugees in Bangladesh threatened by landslides and flooding caused by the first heavy rains of the year, the United Nations said on Tuesday. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / ROHINGYA LANDSLIDES
TRT: 1:43
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 JUNE 2018 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, exterior shot, Palais des Nations.
2. Wide shot, United Nations press room.
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):
“About 41,000 are considered at high risk; overall, based on the area and mapping, we estimate that up to 200,000 people could be at risk from either landslides or floods. So, this is the work that is continuing and we are constantly moving people and another group is being moved as we, as we speak.”
4. Med shot, journalists.
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Leonard Swift, spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration, (IOM):
“It’s a race against time, it’s a race against the elements and the place as you have seen if you’ve been there, you’ve seen the photographs, is incredibly difficult, dangerous, you know, it was jungle, now it’s bare hills, excuse me. The rain has great capacity to wash things away. So even in the best of times this is going to be a difficult operation.”
6. Med shot, journalist.
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCH):
“The profile of the terrain is such that these are hilly terrains that require obviously a lot of work to make them habitable, or to make them at least the way they can support the shelters on them. The hills without vegetation obviously are prone to landslides, and therefore more flat land would be far better and easier to prepare to move such a relatively large number of people who are estimated to be at risk.”
8. Med shot, journalists.
12. Various shots, reporters
STORYLINE
Aid teams are in a “race against time” to help up to 200,000 Myanmar refugees in Bangladesh threatened by landslides and flooding caused by the first heavy rains of the year, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

The area at risk, Cox’s Bazar, is home to around 900,000 mainly Rohingya refugees who sought shelter there after fleeing violence that began in neighbouring Myanmar last August.

To date, the monsoon conditions have caused nearly 40 landslides and claimed the life of a child, according to UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, which reported torrential rains and winds of up to 70 kilometres per hour.

Spokesperson for the UNHCR Andrej Mahecic told journalists in Geneva that more than 40,000 people are considered “at high risk” amid “nearly continuous” rainfall, which is usually heaviest in June and July.

He said overall, “based on the area and mapping, we estimate up to 200,000 people could be at risk from either landslides or floods. So this is the work that is continuing and another group is being moved as we speak.”

UN Migration Agency, IOM, meanwhile, said that the rains had affected more than 21,500 since they began three days ago.

That number is expected to rise, IOM spokesperson Leonard Swift said, adding that staff are battling strong winds and rain, in an attempt to assess damage and make repairs.

“It’s a race against time,” he said. “It’s a race against the elements and the place as you have seen if you’ve been there, you’ve seen the photographs, is incredibly difficult, dangerous. You know, it was jungle, now it’s bare hills; the rain has great capacity to wash things away. So even in the best of times this is going to be a difficult operation.”

As of Tuesday morning, IOM reported that it had checked six camps and identified 99 damaged and 130 destroyed shelters. Depending on weather conditions, IOM and partner agencies plan to distribute emergency shelter to the affected families, but they remain hampered by the rain which has made roads impassable.
In total, aid agencies have reported that more than 2,350 shelters have been damaged or destroyed.

According to the Bangladesh authorities, 400 millimetres of rain have fallen in the Cox’s Bazar area since Sunday, representing two-thirds of average precipitation in June.

After acknowledging the Government’s generosity towards the refugees, UNHCR’s Andrej Mahecic noted that the hilly terrain where they lived had not made the humanitarian response easy.

He said “the profile of the terrain is such that these are hilly terrains that obviously requires a lot of work to make them habitable or at least the way they can support the shelters on them. The hills without vegetation are obviously prone to landslides, so therefore more flat land would be better and far easier to move a relatively large number of people estimated to be at risk.”

Launched in March, the $951 million Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis appeal is just over 21 per cent funded. In a statement, UNCHR said that it was critical that aid agencies receive early, non-earmarked funding to save lives and the living conditions of refugees during the monsoon season.
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