UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today appeals for the immediate rescue of a group of Rohingya refugees in distress on the Andaman Sea.
UNHCR came to know that an unconfirmed number of Rohingya refugees aboard a vessel in distress as of the evening of 20 February, said a press release.
The refugees report having departed from Cox's Bazar and Teknaf in Bangladesh, approximately ten days ago.
Many are in a highly vulnerable condition and are apparently suffering from extreme dehydration.
"Refugees have told us that the vessel ran out of food and water several days ago, and that many of the passengers are ill. The vessel has reportedly been adrift since the engine broke down, more than a week ago. We have not been able to confirm the number of refugees or their precise location at this time," read the news release.
In the absence of precise information as to the refugees' location, the UNHCR has alerted the authorities of the relevant maritime states of these reports and appealed for their swift assistance.
"We appeal to all governments to deploy their search and rescue capacities and promptly disembark those in distress," said UNHCR.
UNHCR stands ready to support governments across the region in providing any necessary humanitarian assistance and quarantine measures in the coming days for those disembarked, in line with public health protocols.