More than 80,000 Rohingya Muslim children in Myanmar are starving and are in need of vital medical treatment for malnutrition, a United Nations agency has warned.
The World Food Programme‘s (WFP) report was assessed 45 villages in western Rakhine state, where around 80,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from the oppressive Burmese military,
Around 80,500 children under the age of five are believed to be seriously malnourished.
Not a single Rohingya child met the minimum adequate diet during assessment.
Only 14 per cent of Rohingya women had dietary diversity while 225,000 people need urgent humanitarian assistance.
One third of homes in Maungdaw, one of the areas main areas impacted by the ongoing violence, are suffering from serious food deprivation, like having no food in their homes or not eating for 24 hours.
The WFP report stated: “It is estimated that 80,500 children under the age of five are expected to be in need of treatment for acute malnutrition over the next twelve months.”
Thousands of Rohingya men left their homes due to personal safety and security issues, and households with unmarried women were identified as the most vulnerable.
The report highlighted that people were “wasting”, which means that they are losing weight at an abnormally fast rate and subsequently, their immune system was eroding.
The report added: “The survey has confirmed a worsening of the food security situation in already highly vulnerable areas following the security incidents and ensuing violence in late 2016.”
Rohingya men, women and children suffering from malnutrition will become increasingly dependent on foreign humanitarian aid, the report said, as the upcoming monsoon season and ongoing restriction to refugees’ movement could worsen the food situation.
Burma’s “democratic” leader and Noble Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been widely criticised for the military violence.
More than a dozen fellow Nobel Peace Prize winners issued an open letter to the UN security council warning of a genocide “amounting to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity” in Rakhine state.
However, the Burmese authorities have denied reports of any abuse.
They have disallowed the UN to carry out an independent investigation of allegations of mass rape, torture and murder by the government against Rohingya Muslims, who are deemed “non-citizens”.