UAE official visits Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh

UAE donated $2m to help address malnutrition among young refugees and their mothers

Dubai: A senior UAE official visited a refugee settlement for Rohingyas in Bangladesh to see how relief is being provided and how efforts can be further intensified to tackle malnutrition, a senior UAE official said.

Yacoub Al Hosani, Assistant Foreign Minister for International Organisations’ Affairs, visited the Kutupalong refugee settlement in Bangladesh, specifically the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees nutrition centres supported by the UAE contribution, on Friday.

During the visit, he met with Kevin Allen, head of UNHCR’s Emergency Operations for the Rohingya refugee response in Bangladesh, and other partner agency workers. He also witnessed the relief efforts to affected refugees.

The UAE earlier donated $2 million (Dh7.34 million) to the UNHCR for the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The visit is considered as the launch of the cooperation between UAE and UNHCR in the nutrition programme, which will cover the needs of 132,700 refugees, including 78,000 adult women and children.

Speaking to UNHCR, Al Hosani said: “The situation of Rohingya refugees is very difficult, especially those women and children who suffer from malnutrition. The UAE expresses appreciation to the Bangladesh government and the people of Bangladesh for their humanitarian stances, especially in hosting Rohingya refugees who fled forcibly.”

“The UAE will increase support to UNHCR, the UN agencies, and all the humanitarian organisations, to help provide assistance and relief to the Rohingya refugees. This is a big task and all your efforts are much appreciated,” he added.

Kevin Allen thanked the UAE for its contribution on behalf of UNHCR and the refugees.

“UNHCR and the refugees we serve thank the Government and people of the UAE for this generous contribution, which will address the nutritional needs of thousands of Rohingya children,” he said.

“The UNHCR would like to acknowledge UAE’s generous contribution of $2 million to support UNHCR’s activities, in particular nutrition, for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh,” he added.

It is estimated that one in five Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh is suffering from acute malnutrition. As per the last nutrition survey UNHCR conducted end of 2017, the overall global acute malnutrition rate for refugee children in Bangladesh was 18.2 per cent, out of which almost four per cent were suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Support for critical nutritional treatment, with a special focus on children and mothers is key. UNHCR has established nutrition programmes in 10 camps across Kutupalong, Chakmarkul and Nayapara settlements, covering the needs of 132,700 refugees, including 78,000 adult women and children.


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