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Rohingya children suffering from malnutrition

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07th-Oct-2017       
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AN estimated 7,500 Rohingya children in the squalid camps in Cox's Bazar are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, said UNICEF as it launched on Monday last a $76.1 million appeal for its emergency humanitarian response to the Rohingya crisis. Up to 60 percent of the over 500,000-plus Rohingyas who have fled Myanmar since August 25 are estimated to be children. Most are now living in harsh and insanitary conditions in makeshift camps and settlements spread across the district. AFP reported that more than 14,100 children are at risk of dying from malnutrition at the Rohingya camps. Moreover, 1,500 children have been separated from parents and close relatives. Another fact is that majority of Rohingya children are not fully immunized against diseases such as polio.
When a war breaks out, women and children are the most likely to suffer. These children are scattered at the Kutupalong registered camp, Balukhali makeshift, Leda makeshift, Nayapara registered camp, Thainkhali settlement, Unchiprang settlement and houses of local people. Of the 23,622 newly arrived children, those below five are being screened for malnutrition at Kutupalong. Children are also found to be suffering from mental trauma.
Different UN Agencies and NGOs, including UNICEF, ISCG, Save the Children, BRAC and Community Development Centre (Codec), have been working for Rohingya children at the makeshift camps. An oral cholera vaccination campaign targeting all children over 1 year is planned in October, and 900,000 doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive in Bangladesh by October 7. The World Food Program (WFP), meanwhile, appealed for $75 million in emergency aid to help reduce the suffering of Rohingyas over the next six months.
UNICEF's Head of Communication Mr. Jean-Jacques Simon emphasized on counselling of these Rohingya children. He also mentioned that they have provided many child-friendly spaces at the camps. UNICEF has provided mobile clinics for Rohingya children and also for Rohingya mothers who gave birth on the border and in Bangladesh.
If we really want to end the suffering of these ill-fated children we must make sure that they return safely to Myanmar with their legal citizenship rights. WFP Executive Director David Beasley said a wonderful thing. Quoting from him "I say we can end world hunger with a few billion dollars. I tell donors, if you can't give us the money, stop the wars."

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