300,000 could flee Myanmar violence, says UN


PV International Desk : Up to 300,000 Rohingya Muslims could flee violence in northwestern Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh, a UN agency official said on Wednesday, warning of a funding shortfall for emergency food supplies for the refugees.
According to estimates issued by United Nations workers in Bangladesh’s border region of Cox’s Bazar, arrivals since the latest bloodshed started 12 days ago have already reached 146,000.
Numbers are difficult to establish with any certainty due to the turmoil as Rohingya escape operations by Myanmar’s military.
However, the UN officials have raised their estimate of the total expected refugees from 120,000 to 300,000, said Dipayan Bhattacharyya, who is Bangladesh spokesman for the World Food Programme.
“They are coming in nutritionally deprived, they have been cut off from a normal flow of food for possibly more than a month,” he told Reuters. “They were definitely visibly hungry, traumatised.”
The surge of refugees, many sick or wounded, has strained the resources of aid agencies and communities which are already helping hundreds of thousands displaced by previous waves of violence in Myanmar. Many have no shelter, and aid agencies are racing to provide clean water, sanitation and food.