GENEVA: In a dire humanitarian crisis, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has issued an urgent plea for the immediate rescue of 185 individuals, primarily women and children, stranded on a distressed boat in the Indian Ocean near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The group, identified as Rohingya refugees, includes 70 children and 88 women, with grave concerns about the health of at least a dozen individuals, and tragically, reports of one confirmed death.
This distressing situation underscores the ongoing challenges faced by the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic group persecuted in Myanmar, who embark on perilous sea journeys seeking refuge. The UNHCR emphasizes the critical need for swift and comprehensive search and rescue operations to prevent further loss of life.
More than a mere statistic, the plight of over 2,000 Rohingya attempting this hazardous journey in 2022 alone and the reported deaths or disappearances of over 570 individuals at sea since last year necessitate urgent attention. The UNHCR calls upon coastal authorities in the region to mobilize resources promptly, highlighting that timely action can avert a larger-scale tragedy and underscores the importance of collective efforts in the face of such human disasters.