Myanmar Violence: 270,000 Flee into Bangladesh in Two Weeks

After fleeing violence in Myanmar in October 2016, Rohingya refugees live in overcrowded makeshift sites in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: UNHCR/Saiful Huq Omi
After fleeing violence in Myanmar in October 2016, Rohingya refugees live in overcrowded makeshift sites in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: UNHCR/Saiful Huq Omi

The United Nations migration agency confirmed Friday that 270,000 people have fled violence in Myanmar for safety in Bangladesh over the past two weeks, and the number of new arrivals continues to increase.

On Wednesday, according to a UN report, at least 300 boats arrived in Cox’s Bazar from Myanmar. Sea routes are particularly dangerous in this season of rough seas.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that new arrivals usually start by looking for space in the established makeshift settlements, where there are some services. But these are already full. According to IOM, three new spontaneous settlements have sprung up in areas which still have very little services.

[ Humanitarian Crisis Persists at DPS Housing Society in Delhi ]

An estimated 130,000 of the new arrivals are now living in the registered refugee camps and three makeshift settlements of Kutupalong, Leda and Balukhali. Another 90,000 people are sheltering in host communities, and nearly 50,000 have settled in new spontaneous settlements.

IOM, which has allocated $1 million from its emergency funds to boost the humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazar, is working with the government and partners to scale up its delivery of lifesaving aid – most importantly shelter, drinking water, food and medical assistance – to those most in need.

Separately, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund also has announced a further $7 million to help the thousands of destitute people who continue to flood into Bangladesh.

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