UNHCR emergency airlift lands in Bangladesh as refugee tally soars to 370,000

September 13, 2017

GENEVA : A major UN Refugee Agency airlift with emergency relief supplies for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh was underway Tuesday, with the first flight landing in Dhaka.

The number of refugees fleeing Myanmar since Aug. 25 has increased to 370,000.

Leonard Doyle, spokesperson for the UN migration agency, IMO, announced the updated influx number during a UN media briefing.

"The system is at full stretch," he said.

UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards said the increase in the estimated total of those counted fleeing to Bangladesh is a result of more assessment teams being able to reach more villages, hamlets, and pockets where refugees have gathered.

He said one of the refugee agency's chartered flights flew in Tuesday with 91 metric tonnes of aid, including much-needed shelter materials, jerry cans, blankets, sleeping mats and other essential items from Dubai.

A second aid flight, donated to UNHCR by United Arab Emirates (UAE), was scheduled to land later in the day bringing in some 1,700 family tents.

"The two emergency flights are meant to meet the immediate aid needs of some 25,000 refugees. Further flights are being planned, ultimately delivering emergency aid for some 120,000 refugees in total," said Edwards.

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