UNICEF es­ti­mates 240,000 chil­dren fled Myan­mar

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

The U.N. chil­dren’s agency is es­ti­mat­ing that 240,000 chil­dren have fled Myan­mar’s Rakhine state into neigh­bor­ing Bangladesh over the last three weeks. UNICEF spokes­woman Mar­ixie Mer­cado says that fig­ure — amount­ing to about 60 per­cent of the es­ti­mated 391,000 to­tal refugees — in­cludes about 36,000 chil­dren aged un­der 1 year old. She says the agency also es­ti­mates 52,000 preg­nant and lac­tat­ing women. Mer­cado says that in­cludes an es­ti­mated 1,100 un­ac­com­pa­nied minors who had crossed over the past week. She spoke at a reg­u­lar brief­ing in Geneva on Fri­day that in­cluded com­ments from many U.N. agen­cies that were ad­dress­ing the cri­sis in Bangladesh. Mer­cado says: “As ev­ery­body here is go­ing to tell you, the needs are seem­ingly end­less and the suf­fer­ing is deep­en­ing.” Chris Lom, Asia-Pa­cific spokesman for the U.N.’s In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­gra­tion, said by phone in the brief­ing that the fig­ures amounted to rough es­ti­mates, adding “there’s not some­body with a clip­board reg­is­ter­ing them” as the peo­ple cross the bor­der.

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