United Nations agencies are seeking more funds to cope with the mass exodus of people fleeing violence in Myanmar into Bangladesh, which the top UN aid official described the world's fastest growing refugee crisis.
UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock told reporters in Geneva today that the more than half a million people who have arrived in Bangladesh from Myanmar in recent weeks need a greater level of help from the international community.
He called the situation “one of the most heart-rending,” recalling his encounter with an 11-year-old boy who was cradling his critically ill baby sister during his visit earlier this week to the host communities in Bangladesh.
“His mother, the boy and his four siblings had set off on a journey lasting, I think nine days, fleeing violence and the burning of their village. The mother died on the journey. This little boy is now in sole charge of his four siblings, including his two-and-a-half-year-old severely acutely malnourished sister,” he said.
Mr. Lowcock, who is also the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said some $434 million will be required in the coming months, calling for donor support ahead of the pledging conference in Geneva later this month.