The UN has decried the “alarming” rise in the number of Rohingya refugees lost at sea fleeing their Myanmar homeland or Bangladesh last year, warning more would die without concerted action.

More than 3,500 Rohingya attempted sea crossings in 2022, representing a huge increase on the year before, when some 700 people made similar journeys

UNHCR has recorded an alarming rise in the death toll. At least 348 individuals died or went missing at sea in 2022, making it one of the deadliest years since 2014

3,040 Rohingya who attempted to flee by sea disembarked last year, primarily in Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

“Most boats departed from Myanmar and Bangladesh, highlighting the growing sense of desperation amongst Rohingya in those two countries,” Mantoo said.

Several boats that departed in December remained at sea as of the end of the year, Mantoo said, adding that one boat is feared to have sunk with approximately 180 people on board.