Geneva Palais Briefing - UNICEF Rohingya refugee response funding

17 October 2017


This is a summary of what was said by UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

GENEVA/NEW YORK, 17 October 2017 - Without immediate additional funding, UNICEF will not be able to continue providing lifesaving aid and protection to Rohingya children who have fled horrific violence in Myanmar for refuge in Bangladesh. Almost 60 per cent of the 582,000 refugees who have fled Myanmar since August 25 are children – and thousands more are crossing each week.

The growing needs are far outpacing resources. As of today, UNICEF has received just 7 per cent of the $76 million required to provide emergency support to children over the next six months. Donors include the Central Emergency Relief Fund managed by OCHA, the Governments of Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States; the French, German, Japanese, Malaysian, Swiss, UK and US national committees for UNICEF; as well as the King Abdullah Foundation and Education Cannot Wait.

Without more funding:

• We will have to stop treating and trucking water to over 40,000 people who otherwise would have no access to safe water by the end of November.
• We have built 180 water points, but will not be able to build the additional 1,400 that are required to meet the needs of 350,000 people.
• We have installed 3,700 toilets, but without more resources, we will not be able to install another 12,000 needed by 250,000 people.
• We will not be able to procure supplies of ready-to-use therapeutic food to treat 15000 children suffering from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
• Some 80,000 children will have no access to basic healthcare, and about 100,000 newly-arrived refugee children will not be immunized against measles, rubella or polio.
• We will not be able to adequately respond to a massive outbreak of water-borne disease because we will not have the trained staff and supplies.
• Unaccompanied and separated children will be deprived of the case management services they desperately need.

Rohingya children have already endured atrocities. All of them need the lifesaving basics – shelter, food, water, vaccinations, protection – not tomorrow or next week or next month, but right now. UNICEF is appealing to donors to help fulfil these children’s most fundamental right; to survive.


Notes for editors:

Broadcast quality photos and videos available here

For further information please contact:

Marixie Mercado, UNICEF Geneva +4179 5597172;
Jean Jacques Simon, UNICEF Bangladesh,, +880 01713043478
Chris Tidey, UNICEF New York, ctidey@unicef.og  +1 917 340 3017

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