Number of Rohingya refugees may reach 10 lakh: UNHCR, IOM

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:05, Sep 15,2017 | Updated: 00:34, Sep 15,2017

 
 
Rohingya

IOM director Mohammed Abdiker Mohamud and UNHCR assistant high commissioner for operations George Okoth-Obbo address a press conference in Dhaka on Thursday over Rohingya crisis. — New Age photo

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and International Organisation for Migration fear that the number of Rohingya people fleeing from persecution in the Rakhine state of Myanmar might reach 10 lakh.
‘We estimate the number of (fleeing Rohingya) people could reach to 1 million,’ IOM director Mohammed Abdiker Mohamud said at a press conference in Dhaka on Thursday.
Mohamud said that nobody had expected 4 lakh people would arrive in Bangladesh in two and a half weeks and none was prepared for it.
The flow of desperate Rohingya people was huge and about 10,000 to 20,000 people were arriving every day in Bangladesh, he said, adding, ‘Without improving the situation in Myanmar, more people would continue to come.’
Mohamud said that Bangladesh alone could not tackle the crisis and urged more engagement and support of the international community.
He observed that the international community was yet to come up with necessary humanitarian support
to handle the Rohingya crisis.
Addressing the conference, UNHCR assistant high commissioner George Okoth-Obbo said that the Rohingya people were facing a humanitarian situation.
Acknowledging the support provided by the government and the people of Bangladesh, he said, ‘a lot of work has to be done now’. ‘It is needed to meet the basic needs of the fleeing Rohingya people. They need protection and we have to be careful so that another emergency, like health situation, could not occur during this emergency’, Okoth-Obbo said.
He appreciated the initiative of biometric registration of the Rohingya people by the Bangladesh government.
‘We are very delighted about the beginning of biometric registration,’ he said, because all the Rohingya people needed to be documented, especially for their return to their homes.
He underscored the need for coordinated efforts by the governmental, international and local agencies to find the most effective ways to address the crisis. 

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