UNICEF says the children who make up most of the nearly 600 000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in Myanmar are seeing a "hell on earth" in overcrowded, muddy and squalid refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
UNICEF says the children who make up most of the nearly 600 000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in Myanmar are seeing a "hell on earth" in overcrowded, muddy and squalid refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
A Rohingya Muslim woman feeds her daughter inside a classroom where a group of refugees wait to be registered after which they will be allowed to proceed to build a shelter in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
A Rohingya Muslim woman feeds her daughter inside a classroom where a group of refugees wait to be registered after which they will be allowed to proceed to build a shelter in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
A Rohingya Muslim woman keeps flies away from her sick daughter as she waits inside a classroom of a school to be registered which will allow them to proceed to build a shelter in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
A Rohingya Muslim woman keeps flies away from her sick daughter as she waits inside a classroom of a school to be registered which will allow them to proceed to build a shelter in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
Rohingya Muslims sit inside a classroom waiting to be registered after which they will be allowed to build a shelter in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
Rohingya Muslims sit inside a classroom waiting to be registered after which they will be allowed to build a shelter in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
A Rohingya Muslim girl Asma Bibi, center, sleeps between her grandmother and sister in a dormitory of a school as they wait for their family to be registered as refugees. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
A Rohingya Muslim girl Asma Bibi, center, sleeps between her grandmother and sister in a dormitory of a school as they wait for their family to be registered as refugees. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
A newly arrived Rohingya Muslim girl, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, walks carrying her belongings near Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
A newly arrived Rohingya Muslim girl, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, walks carrying her belongings near Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
A Rohingya Muslim girl Azra, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, holds her little brother Luqman and wait for their family to be registered as refugees in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
A Rohingya Muslim girl Azra, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, holds her little brother Luqman and wait for their family to be registered as refugees in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
Rohingya Muslim women stand in a queue to register themselves as refugees in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
Rohingya Muslim women stand in a queue to register themselves as refugees in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
Rohingya children draw at Balukhali makeshift refugee camp in Cox's Bazar district in Bangladesh. Picture: UNICEF/Brown via AP
Rohingya children draw at Balukhali makeshift refugee camp in Cox's Bazar district in Bangladesh. Picture: UNICEF/Brown via AP
Rohingya Muslim children play with a cart in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP
Rohingya Muslim children play with a cart in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Picture: Dar Yasin/AP

Geneva - UNICEF says the children who make up most of the nearly 600 000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in Myanmar are seeing a "hell on earth" in overcrowded, muddy and squalid refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh.

The U.N. children's agency issued a report that documents the plight of children who account for 58 percent of the refugees who have poured into Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, over the last eight weeks. Report author Simon Ingram says about one in five children in the area are "acutely malnourished."

The report comes ahead of a donor conference Monday in Geneva to drum up funding for the Rohingya.

"Many Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh have witnessed atrocities in Myanmar no child should ever see, and all have suffered tremendous loss," UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a statement.

The refugees need clean water, food, sanitation, shelter and vaccines to help head off a possible outbreak of cholera — a potentially deadly water-borne disease.

Ingram also warned of threats posed by human traffickers and others who might exploit children in the refugee areas.

"These children just feel so abandoned, so completely remote, and without a means of finding support or help. In a sense, it's no surprise that they must truly see this place as a hell on earth," Ingram told a news conference in Geneva.

The report features harrowing color drawings by some children being cared for by UNICEF and other aid groups who are scrambling to improve living conditions in Cox's Bazar. Some of the images show helicopter gunships and green-clad men firing on a village or on people, some of whom are spewing blood.

The influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar began on Aug. 25 as the military launched a crackdown it said was in response to militant attacks. Refugees have fled burning villages and provided accounts - like the children's drawings - of security forces gunning down civilians.

The UN and humanitarian agencies seek $434 million for the Rohingya refugees - about one-sixth of which would go to UNICEF efforts to help children.

Associated Press