Statement by UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh Sheldon Yett on fire in the Rohingya refugee camps
“Our deepest sympathies go out to the 12,000 Rohingya refugees – half of them children – who lost their shelter homes in the fire that broke out in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps yesterday. We commend the brave work of front-line responders who have brought the fire under control.
“While we are thankful that no deaths have been reported, 6,000 children are in urgent need of emergency support. UNICEF and our partners have worked through the night to protect and support traumatized children and their families.
“Two mobile medical units have been deployed and are providing emergency medical aid to injured children and adults. At the same time, children are receiving psychosocial support with special attention to those who may have been separated from their families in the chaos.
“The full extent of the damage is being assessed, but according to initial reports the fire destroyed 2,000 shelters and a large number of facilities that provide critical services to refugee children and their families. Among these are over 20 learning centres, at least one nutrition centre, and several sanitation facilities.
“UNICEF’s next priority is to repair and rebuild these facilities so that children can continue their education and will receive essential healthcare, nutrition and sanitation services.
“Our hearts are with the Rohingya children and their families who – after fleeing their country and taking refuge – have once more been left homeless.”