Geneva Palais Briefing – UNICEF Rohingya refugee response funding


Geneva Palais Briefing – UNICEF Rohingya refugee response funding

On 6 September 2017, (foreground) a Rohingya family from Myanmar who had crossed the border into Bangladesh are waiting to be transported to the nearby Balukhali makeshift settlement for Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar District, Bangladesh.

By 5 September 2017, more than 146,000 Rohingya refugees fled across the border from Rakhine State, Myanmar, into Cox's Bazar district, Chittagong Division in Bangladesh since 25 August. As many as 80 per cent of the new arrivals are women and children. More than 70 000 children need urgent humanitarian assistance. More than 100,000 of the newly arrived refugees are currently residing in makeshift settlements and official refugee camps that are extremely overcrowded while 10,000 newly arrived refugees are in host communities. In addition, 33,000 arrivals are in new spontaneous sites, which are quickly expanding.  While some refugees are making their own shelters, the majority of people are staying in the open, suffering from exhaustion, sickness and hunger. Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable districts, not only for its poor performance in child related indicators but also for its vulnerability to natural hazards.  Most people walked 50 or 60 kilometers for up to six days and are in dire need of food, water and protection. Many children are suffering from cold fever as they are drenched in rain and lack additional clothes. Children and adolescents, especially girls, are vulnerable to trafficking as different child trafficking groups are active in the region. Many more children in need of support and protection remain in the areas of northern Rakhine State that have been wracked by violence.

In Bangladesh, UNICEF is scaling up its response to provide refugee children with protection, nutrition, health, water and sanitation support. With the recent influx of refugees, demand has increased and UNICEF is working to mobilize more support and strengthen its existing activities. For recreational and p

© UNICEF/Brown

Rohingya children and families flee to Cox’s Bazar district in Bangladesh. More than half a million new refugees have crossed into Cox’s Bazar since 25 August.

This is a summary of what was said by UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

GENEVA/NEW YORK/HONG KONG, 17 October 2017 – Without immediate additional funding, UNICEF will not be able to continue providing lifesaving aid and protection to Rohingya children who have fled horrific violence in Myanmar for refuge in Bangladesh. Almost 60 per cent of the 582,000 refugees who have fled Myanmar since August 25 are children – and thousands more are crossing each week.

The growing needs are far outpacing resources. As of today, UNICEF has received just 7 per cent of the HK$592.8 million required to provide emergency support to children over the next six months. Donors include the Central Emergency Relief Fund managed by OCHA, the Governments of Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States; the French, German, Japanese, Malaysian, Swiss, UK and US national committees for UNICEF; as well as the King Abdullah Foundation and Education Cannot Wait.

Without more funding:

• We will have to stop treating and trucking water to over 40,000 people who otherwise would have no access to safe water by the end of November.
• We have built 180 water points, but will not be able to build the additional 1,400 that are required to meet the needs of 350,000 people.
• We have installed 3,700 toilets, but without more resources, we will not be able to install another 12,000 needed by 250,000 people.
• We will not be able to procure supplies of ready-to-use therapeutic food to treat 15000 children suffering from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
• Some 80,000 children will have no access to basic healthcare, and about 100,000 newly-arrived refugee children will not be immunized against measles, rubella or polio.
• We will not be able to adequately respond to a massive outbreak of water-borne disease because we will not have the trained staff and supplies.
• Unaccompanied and separated children will be deprived of the case management services they desperately need.

Rohingya children have already endured atrocities. All of them need the lifesaving basics – shelter, food, water, vaccinations, protection – not tomorrow or next week or next month, but right now. UNICEF is appealing to donors to help fulfil these children’s most fundamental right; to survive.