The first consignment of UNICEF emergency supplies for hundreds of thousands of refugee Rohingya children and their families arrived in Bangladesh on Sunday.
The cargo plane from Copenhagen with 100 tonnes of supplies comprising water purifying tablets, family hygiene kits, sanitary materials, plastic tarpaulins and recreational kits for children and other items reached Bangladesh.
The supplies will provide urgently-needed assistance to the estimated quarter of a million Rohingya child refugees who are among the 429,000 people who have fled across the border from neighbouring Myanmar in recent weeks.
The refugees are now living in different camps and makeshift settlements in Cox’s Bazar district, according to a UNICEF press release issued in Dhaka on Sunday.
“Ensuring that children and families have safe water for drinking and washing is absolutely essential in order to protect them against diarrhoea and other waterborne diseases,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh.
“This is a very real threat given the current situation in the camps and makeshift settlements where the Rohingya are now living, especially amid the current heavy rains”.
The next consignments consisting of school bags, tents, early childhood development kits, family hygiene and dignity kits, tarpaulin and nutrition materials are also on its way to Bangladesh.
The supplies will be delivered by truck to the southern city of Cox’s Bazar, where an expanding international response is mobilising to address the plight of the growing number of Rohingya refugees arriving in Bangladesh.
UNICEF is seeking US$ 7.3 million in additional funding for its work in southern Bangladesh over the next three months. The additional funds will be necessary as the refugee population continues to grow.