Initial reports suggest that the boat left Sittwe in Myanmar’s Rakhine state last Thursday, the agency reported, and that the ship encountered bad weather in the waters off the Ayeyarwady region, causing it to capsize. near the seaside town of Pathein on Saturday.
At least 17 people are believed to have died, with grieving reports of bodies being found ashore, prompting local communities to bury those killed.
“The LAt least the tragedy shows once again the feelings of despair of the Rohingya people in Myanmar and in the region,” Indrika Ratwatte said, UNHCRRegional Director for Asia and the Pacific.
“It is shocking that more and more children, women and men are embarking on these perilous journeys and ultimately losing their lives.”
Information about survivors
In Myanmar, UNHCR is urgently seeking more information on survivors who have come ashore to assess their situation.
Over the past decade, thousands of Rohingya have fled refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, and Rakhine state in Myanmar.
“The root cause of these deadly journeys needs to be solved,” said Mr Ratwatte. “In addition, all countries in the region must work together to ensure the rescue and bring all those in distress at sea ashore.”
UNHCR reiterated its warning that “Collective inaction will continue to lead to tragic and deadly consequences. It is imperative to take action against criminals, smugglers and traffickers who prey on the most vulnerable.”
Floods in Bangladesh put 1.5 million children at risk
Flooding in northeastern Bangladesh has devastated homes, crops and cut off access to the worst-affected areas.
Up to 1 million children face the risk of drowning, disease and violence every second.
UNICEF is supporting the Government in its response to this crisis. pic.twitter.com/NiNJYdvIoS
– UNICEF Bangladesh (@UNICEFBD) May 22, 2022
Meanwhile, widespread flooding in neighboring Bangladesh has put 1.5 million children at risk of illness, drowning and malnutrition, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UN Children’s Fund) said.UNICEF), say on monday.
The UN agency has working with Government and civil society partners to meet the most pressing family needs in the northeastern regions, by providing clean water, hygiene kits, therapeutic milk and school kits to children who cannot attend school.
More than four million people in five regions have been affected by the surge.
The hardest hit – Sylhet and Sunamganj – have seen farmland and vital infrastructure submerged, including power stations and schools.
Cases of diarrhea, respiratory infections and skin diseases have been reported, according to a UNICEF update, and at least three children have died from lightning strikes.
Raising awareness about the dangers of drowning is also central to UNICEF’s community response, the organization said.
Children are the most vulnerable
Hundreds of schools have been closed, further endangering children’s learning. The agency added that, after 18 months of COVID-related closures over the past few years, children are once again missing out on school.
“The The loss of lives, homes and schools is heartbreaking. In this disaster, as in most disasters, children are the most vulnerable. UNICEF is always working to protect children and meet their urgent needs, supporting the Government and working closely with our local partners”, said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh said.
UNICEF is working closely with the Department of Social Services to ensure that social workers are available to protect the safety and security of children.