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UN Releases Emergency Funds for Rohingya Refugees

A Rohingya woman holds her child and stands at a makeshift camp near Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, Oct. 3, 2017. More than half a million Rohingya have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in just over a month, the largest refugee crisis to hit Asia in decades.

The United Nations has released $12 million for emergency relief for the most vulnerable among those fleeing violence in Myanmar.

"We need to get more food, water, sanitation facilities, medical help and other support to the refugees," Mark Lowcock, U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said Tuesday.

"The people of Bangladesh have offered a generous welcome, but the current conditions in the camps are terrible. Without much more international assistance, the refugees, who have suffered greatly, could face a health catastrophe on top of the existing tragedy," he said.

In recent weeks, more than a half-million Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar, where they face human rights violations and discrimination.

Rohingya militants attacked Myanmar security forces in late August. Since then, analysts and rights workers say, the military has carried out a brutal crackdown, burning villages and killing women and children as they fled.

Myanmar authorities say clashes have stopped, but the exodus continues daily by the thousands into neighboring Bangladesh.

Lowcock said the solution to the crisis lay in Myanmar.

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