About 40 per cent of the total Rohingya population living in the Rakhine State of Myanmar have now fled to Bangladesh, the UN has said.

Since August 25, the number of Rohingya refugees who have crossed the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh has now reached 389,000, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman to the UN Secretary General told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York. “In the last 24 hours alone, 10,000 people reportedly crossed into Bangladesh. Combined with those who fled during the last round of violence in Rakhine State last October, it is estimated that some 40 per cent of the total Rohingya population living in Rakhine State have now fled into Bangladesh,” he said.

UNICEF has trucks filled with emergency water, sanitation and hygiene supplies for thousands of Rohingya children heading to Cox’s Bazar, with a steady stream of supplies in the pipeline for the coming days and weeks, he said. It is estimated that 60 per cent of Rohingya refugees arriving in Bangladesh are children, he added. “The sheer number of refugees has overwhelmed pre-existing refugee camps, with new arrivals seeking shelter anywhere they can find space,” Dujarric said.

According to UNICEF there are acute shortages of everything, most critically shelter, food and clean water, and is also helping Bangladesh government on improving water treatment plants. “UNICEF plans to massively scale up its emergency response to the growing number of Rohingya children in Bangladesh, and has appealed for more than USD7 million to provide emergency support over the next four months,” he added.

The UN Security Council had earlier expressed concern over the security situation in the Rakhine State. “There needs to be a focus, obviously, as he said, on the halt of the, of military and security operations. Underlying issues need to be dealt with in Rakhine State, and what we urgently, urgently need is an international mobilisation of support for the tens of thousands of, of very vulnerable people who we have seen streaming into Bangladesh, often already arriving in very poor condition,” the spokesman said.

The UN Secretary General has urged the international community to mobilise immediately to help the refugees, the men and the women and the children,” he said. “The percentage of children is astounding, all these people that need to be helped now,” Dujarric said.

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