Hunger in the news
1 April 2009
Food insecurity is nothing new for many Rohingya in northern Rakhine State, most of whom live in abject poverty, but this year is particularly bad. Of the state's almost one million inhabitants, about 85 percent are Rohingya, an ethnic, linguistic and religious minority that are de jure stateless in line with the country's laws. [...] The price of rice, a staple, was 75 percent higher in June 2008 against 2007, prompting many Rohingya families to forgo one meal a day. "Our recent field reports indicate a similar, if not worse, situation as regards household food insecurity in the early months of this year, largely due to growing levels of debt, a reduced harvest in the main 2008-2009 agricultural season, coupled with declining opportunities for wage labour," Chris Kay, country director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), told IRIN in Yangon, the former Burmese capital.