Rohingya refugees’ agony continues: 16,000 babies born in Bangladesh camps in 9 months
The persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and their fleeing the country and taking refuge elsewhere has been a massive political crisis but now, there seems to be more problems emerging around them.
According to Unicef which spoke on the matter on Wednesday, May 16, the children's agency of the United Nations, 16,000 babies were born in various camps and informal settlements in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar in the last nine months since the Myanmar Army cracked down on the Rohingyas, forcing thousands of their families flee and take refuge in the neighbouring country.
Terrible violence broke out in Myanmar's disturbed Rakhine province in August 2017, after the army resorted to reprisals against alleged threat to the state security by insurgents and this led to a huge exodus and resultant political problems in the neighbouring countries.
"Around 60 babies a day are taking their first breath in appalling conditions, away from home, to mothers who have survived displacement, violence, trauma and, at times, rape," reports quoted Unicef's Representative in Bangladesh Edouard Beigbeder as saying.
The women and girls remain exposed to dangers of sexual exploitation besides other menace in the Bangladeshi camps that house over 700,000 Rohingyas as refugees.
The UN had called the persecution of the refugees and burning down their houses tantamount to 'ethnic cleansing'.
Beigbeder also said that it would be impossible to know the actual number of babies born because of sexual violence but stressed the necessity of providing each newborn and its mother as well as the expecting women to get the help and care they require.
An earlier study of 'Save the Children' project said 48,000 babies would be born in 2018 in already overcrowded Rohingya camps, an India Today report said.
The Rohingyas are mostly stateless Muslim minority numbering around 1.1 million.
A Bangladeshi health official in the condition of anonymity said 18,300 pregnant women had been identified in the refugee camps and the total estimate was roughly around 25,000, the report added.