UNHCR warns delays in rescue at Andaman Sea and Strait of Malacca is costing human lives
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is deeply dismayed that repeated calls to rescue and safely disembark people stranded on boats in the Andaman Sea and Strait of Malacca are not being heard. It warns that inaction from States to save lives is resulting in more human misery and tragedies, each passing day.
UNHCR remains deeply concerned about the dire condition of a boat in distress reportedly off the coast of Indonesia with up to 200 Rohingya refugees, including women and children. The boat has been adrift at sea since late November and is now reportedly in waters around the Strait of Malacca.
Several reports indicate dozens of people have already died during this ordeal. Those alive are hungry, thirsty, and sick without food and water.
UNHCR repeats its appeal to all responsible States to rescue those on the boat and allow them to safely disembark in line with legal obligations and humanitarian traditions. Quick action is needed to save lives and avoid further deaths.
The UN Refugee Agency and humanitarian partners are ready to continue their support to the respective States in conducting screening and documentation of the rescued individuals, and to provide them with basic needs and protection.
For more information on this topic, please contact:
- In Bangkok, Babar Baloch, [email protected], +66 80 086 5611