UN agencies get more cash to fight malnutrition of the Rohingya

By Lester Wan contact

- Last updated on GMT

About 60% of Rohingya refugees are children and many suffer from severe acute malnutrition. ©GettyImages
About 60% of Rohingya refugees are children and many suffer from severe acute malnutrition. ©GettyImages

Related tags: World food programme

More than $344 million has been secured to fight the acute malnutrition of the close to 1 million Rohingya refugees in eastern Bangladesh.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), as many as 60% of Rohingya refugees are children.

The Rohingya have been fleeing in the wake of violence in Rakhine, northern Myanmar.

So far, the UN World Food Programme has provided rice, lentils and soybean oil, as well as high-nutrition supplements for the many pregnant women and severely malnourished children under five years old.

The latest batch of funds was raised at a United Nations-supported humanitarian conference on Monday.

“More than 800,000 stateless Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh aspire to a life that meets their immediate needs for food, medicine, water and shelter,” ​said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

UN agencies have been attempting to ramp up aid, including in providing food and medical assistance to hundreds of thousands of the refugees, and will now get the financial backing to further do so.

Mark Lowcock, under-secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs and UN emergency relief coordinator, added:“These very generous pledges must now quickly translate into life-saving relief for the vulnerable refugees and support to host communities who have been stretched to the limit.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has deployed an environmental health team to assess drinking water and initiate cholera prevention measures to increase access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. It has since inoculated more than 700,000 refugees against cholera. It has also vaccinated 135,000 children against measles and rubella, and 72,000 against polio, and provided Vitamin A to the same number to address severe malnutrition.

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