UNHCR is working with the Bangladesh authorities on a transit centre to prepare for a potential refugee influx in the coming days,UNB reports.
“This is in view of yesterday’s sudden increase in people arriving from Myanmar,” said UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on Tuesday.
Quoting Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), the official said more than 11,000 Rohingya refugees crossed by land on Monday into south-eastern Bangladesh through several points.
UNHCR sources say that many of the new refugees came from the Buthidaung area in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state. Buthidaung town is some 25 kilometres east of Maungdaw.
Some said they fled torching and killings back home; one boy was seen with a big gash across his neck. Others said they left in fear ahead of anticipated violence.
To reach Bangladesh, they walked for up to 14 days. Many were carrying children and baskets containing whatever they could pack at short notice.
“We are also coordinating with the government and partners to provide urgent services – food, water and healthcare – to these new refugees,” said the spokesperson.
To prepare for possible further new arrivals, UNHCR’s government counterpart, the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC), has agreed to set up small first aid stations at entry points to provide water and attention for major medical emergencies among the fresh arrivals.
In addition, RRRC has allocated land to set up a transit centre in the Kutupalong extension site. It will lead preparedness activities with UNHCR in coordination with partners including WFP, UNICEF, IOM, WHO, ICRC and ACF. Basic assistance will also be provided at the entry points.