(Reuters) - About 270,000 Muslim Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar have sought refuge in Bangladesh in the past two weeks, a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said on Friday.
This has brought to 357,000 the number of Rohingya who have sought refuge in Bangladesh since October 2016.
The exodus has put pressure on aid agencies and communities already helping hundreds of thousands of refugees from previous violence in Myanmar.
Following are some details on the crisis gathered from U.N. sources working in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh, on the Myanmar border.
- The number of new arrivals has increased considerably in part because of a survey carried out on Sept. 6 and 7, when inter-agency teams visited host communities previously left out of calculations. About 75,000 people were identified in previously unvisited communities at nine locations.
- There is immediate need for food for the majority of the new arrivals, who do not have, or have finished, their own supplies, and are getting food from host communities or refugees who came across the border last year.
- Most of the food being distributed is high-energy biscuits with 47,522 new arrivals getting them. Supplies of rice are scheduled to go out from Sept. 9.
- Water is scarce while sanitation and hygiene facilities in all makeshift settlements and refugee camps, especially at Shamlapur and Leda, where the number of fresh arrivals is increasing rapidly, are stretched. Limited space to build new facilities is a chronic problem.
- There are serious concerns about malnutrition, especially among children under five and pregnant or lactating women, some of whom are being enrolled in targeted feeding programmes.
- Many pregnant women are very hungry, some having not eaten for several days. Seven babies have been born.
- There is also a need for safe spaces for women with eight reported cases of gender-based violence, including 2 cases of sexual violence.
- As of Sept. 7, a total of 299 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children have been identified and registered since Aug. 25.
- An estimated 51,100 children need schooling.
Reporting by Karishma Singh; Editing by Robert Birsel