(Reuters) - Nearly 30,000 Rohingya Muslims have crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar since Friday, straining scarce resources of aid agencies and local communities already helping tens of thousands of refugees from previous spasms of violence in Myanmar.
Following are some details on the emerging crisis gathered from United Nations’ sources working in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh:
- Humanitarian workers operating in the area say contingency stocks of materials are low and the biggest problem is extreme overcrowding in the existing makeshift settlements.
With another 20,000 people currently trapped in no-man’s land between the two countries, they expect more people to cross the border than during the crisis in the fall of last year, when more than 70,000 people made the journey. They say funding for enough rice to feed all the people who have crossed since October “may be problematic”.
- Aid workers’ data shows that some 40 percent of the people who have crossed in August were very young, aged 4-14 years old. They fear lack of accommodation and sanitation facilities may lead to abuse of young girls.
- In the last three days, 256 women and girls, including 42 survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, have received psychological and other support, while 66 newly-identified unaccompanied children were also receiving help.
- Seven schools have been opened to new arrivals to take shelter in the refugee camps.
- Sanitation and access to safe water is a concern especially at the no man’s land with no facilities.
- Humanitarian agencies had already been building, prior to the fresh influx of refugees, 450 emergency latrines, 50 accessible latrines, 200 bathing cubicles for women and adolescent girls, repairing 200 existing latrines, distributing 800 hand-washing devices and 650 hygiene promotion sessions in two border regions.
Reporting by Reuters staff; Editing by Alex Richardson
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