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Rohingya face food, medical crises in Bangladeshi camps

ROHINGYA FACE FOOD, MEDICAL CRISES IN BANGLADESHI CAMPS

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar persecution have been facing food shortage and scarcity of medicament.

Sakina Khatun, 60, is one of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to have fled Myanmar.

With her four grandchildren -- the youngest three, the eldest eight -- she escaped to the Kutupalong refugee camp across the border in Bangladesh.

Living under the open sky, the Rohingya here are secure but the condition of their children's food and health is critical.

Most children are hungry, stretching their hands out looking for food. Often unable to satisfy their hunger, some have left the camp to enter nearby areas, one local resident, Abu Taher, told Anadolu Agency.

More than 400,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since Aug. 25. Around 60 percent are children, according to UNICEF.

Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF's representative in Bangladesh, told Anadolu Agency: "There are acute shortages of everything, most critically shelter, food and clean water.

"Conditions on the ground are very poor and children are at risk of water-borne diseases. We have a monumental task ahead of us to protect these extremely vulnerable children."

UNICEF has appealed for $7.3 million to provide emergency support to Rohingya children over the next four months.

The Rohingya people who have escaped Myanmar are throwing together shelters with polythene and bamboo. Some are starving. Local residents are giving food to the new arrivals, with some of the refugees eating at nearby homes.

Mohammad Ali Hossen, an administrative official, told Anadolu Agency: "Rohingya are staying in 14 different places in Cox's Bazar. Due to the overwhelming crowd and manpower crisis, relief operations run separately and it will take more days to bring discipline."

Mohammad Iqbal Hossain, another official, told Anadolu Agency that an over 300 extra police had been assigned to keep order.

Meanwhile, India has offered help to Bangladesh to deal with the refugee crisis. Aid will be air lifted in consignments, the first tranche of which was due to arrive on Thursday in Chittagong, southern Bangladesh, on an Indian Air Force plane.

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