Rohingya refugees living in "dire" conditions: UN officials warn

Rohingya refugees living in

UNITED NATIONS: The human tragedy unfolding in southern Bangladesh is staggering in its scale, two senior United Nations officials warned Wednesday as they wrapped up a mission to Cox's Bazar with calls for boosting assistance for the thousands of Rohingyas who have settled in the area after fleeing violence in neighbouring Myanmar.


"We leave Bangladesh "all the more determined that the United Nations do all it can to assist the Government of Bangladesh in coping with this crisis," Mark Lowcock, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said in a statement.


In the last few weeks, well over half a million Rohingya people have crossed the Myanmar border in to Bangladesh, making this the world's fastest developing refugee emergency.


"People arrive fearful, exhausted and hungry, and in desperate need of immediate help including shelter, food, clean water and sanitation, and healthcare," they asserted. "They bring with them terrible accounts of what they have seen and suffered "stories of children being killed, women brutalized, and villages burned to the ground."


The UN officials lauded the Government and people of Bangladesh for its "extraordinary spirit of generosity" in opening the country's borders and their providing relief to the refugees as "an inspiring example of humanity."


Explaining that the refugees are living in flimsy shacks in sprawling, densely-crowded sites that have sprung up to accommodate them "with ever-growing risks for a disease outbreak" they underscored the urgency for funding so that all refugees have access to food, shelter, water, sanitation facilities, health care and protective services.