Categorized | South Asia

Over 80,000 Rohingya children ‘wasting’ from hunger in Myanmar

NOVANEWS
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The United Nations has warned that tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslim children under the age of five are in dire need of treatment for “acute malnutrition” in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine.

The World Food Program (WFP) reported on Monday that 80,500 children living in the areas are “wasting” and will need treatment for acute malnutrition within the next 12 months.

According to WFP spokesperson in Myanmar, the “wasting” condition, which is a rapid weight loss that can become fatal, impairs the functioning of the immune system.

“Based on the household hunger scale, about 38,000 households corresponding to 225,800 people are suffering from hunger and are in need of humanitarian assistance,” said the report.

The agency warned that “households with children under the age of five,” and those that composed of only one female adult, had the highest frequency of episodes of severe hunger.

The report was based an assessment in April of villages in the Rakhine state, which has been under a military lockdown since October 2016, when the military launched a campaign to hunt down those who allegedly staged deadly attacks on police posts.

A quarter of all Rohingya households composed of only one female adult because the men had left due to the military campaign, it added.

Since the beginning of the army’s operation, some 75,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine to Bangladesh, according to UN estimates. Those who remain are now reeling from a food crisis.

There have also been numerous accounts by eyewitnesses of summary executions, rapes, and arson attacks against Muslims since the crackdown began.

The United Nations Human Rights Council agreed in March to send an international fact-finding mission to Myanmar, but the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has so far denied entry to members of the mission.

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