UNFPA urgently seeks funding for Rohingya women, girls
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Bangladesh said Tuesday it is urgently seeking $13 million to provide lifesaving reproductive health and gender-based violence response services to Rohingya women and girls arriving from Myanmar.
Iori Kato, acting representative of UNFPA Bangladesh, said in a press briefing they need the $13 million "urgently" to meet rapidly growing needs amid "a massive humanitarian crisis".
The UNFPA said the funds would be needed to provide the services to women and girls, who constitute an estimated 67 percent of new arrivals.
"Women do not stop getting pregnant or having babies just because an emergency hits. Among the UN family, the UNFPA takes the lead for sexual and reproductive health as well as gender-based violence response, a responsibility we take very seriously."
Among the 128,000 new arrivals assessed so far by the Inter-Sector Coordination Group, 13% were pregnant or lactating women who were in need of life-saving maternal and newborn healthcare services. As in any humanitarian emergency, the risk of gender-based violence increases significantly as well, putting women and girls at heightened risk.
"The $13 million in funding that UNFPA Bangladesh is requesting will allow us to carry out our wide-ranging responsibilities through August 2018. We thank our donors for their crucial support now and in the future," Kato said.
The UNFPA has already deployed midwives trained in humanitarian response to complement midwives and other personnel who had already been serving in the Cox's Bazar Rohingya camp.
Since Aug, 25, more than 370,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine to Bangladesh, according to the UN.
The refugees are fleeing a fresh security operation in which they have said security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.
According to the Bangladesh government, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.