The United Nations (UN) has called for support from the humanitarian agencies across the world to help meet the emergency needs of thousands of Rohingyas who took shelter in Bangladesh from fleeing unprecedented atrocities in Myanmar.
"The flow of desperate Rohingya fleeing across the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh is unprecedented in terms of volume and speed", UN said in a web posting.
About 370,000 people have crossed Bangladeshi border in the last two and a half weeks, according to the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM).
"UN agencies and the government were expecting the possibility that as many as 100,000 more people could come across when there were already 600,000 Rohingyas in Bangladesh. But I don't think anyone expected a mass exodus like this, unprecedented in terms of value and speed," said IOM Asia-Pacific Spokesperson Chris Lom, speaking with UN News from Cox's Bazar.
Lom, who is one of the UN aid workers on the ground, said the people he spoke with are "very vulnerable, traumatized."
There are "hundreds of people virtually camped out anywhere there is space. Any spare muddy piece of land or on hillside," he said, calling for a coordinated, emergency response that is fully funded by the international community to avert a humanitarian crisis.
About 60 per cent of the Rohingya refugees - some 200,000 - are children, according to Jean Lieby, Chief of Child Protection at the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Bangladesh, who is also in Cox's Bazar.
"The first thing you see here in the different Rohingya camps is the large number of children. You see children who have not slept for days, they are weak and hungry," she told journalists in Geneva by phone.
Meanwhile, two aircraft- one of UN refugee agency and another of United Arab Emirates -landed in Dhaka with supplies to Rohingyas.