WFP Scales Up Food Distributions To People Fleeing Violence In Myanmar

Published on 12 September 2017

Copyright: WFP/ Saikat Mojumder

DHAKA – The United Nations World Food Programme is responding to the urgent food needs of tens of thousands of hungry people arriving in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh as they flee violence and unrest in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

  • An estimated 313,000 people have crossed the border into Bangladesh.
  • Since 27 August, WFP has provided more than 68,800 people with high-energy biscuits as they arrive seeking shelter in already overcrowded settlements in Cox’s Bazar. More than 1,000 women have also received high-energy biscuits in women-friendly spaces supported by UNFPA.
  • Around  77,600 people have received warm meals – khichuri, a kind of rice and lentil porridge – through community kitchens operated by Action Contre la Faim, where WFP provides rice. These kitchens continue to provide meals for about 5,300 people per day.
  • WFP is especially concerned about the health of women and children arriving hungry and malnourished. Nearly 3,000 pregnant women, new mothers and children under the age of five have received a special, high-nutrient porridge made of wheat and soya flour.
  • On 9 September, WFP began distributing 25 kilograms of rice to newly arrived families both in registered camps and makeshift settlements. More than 11,800 households – nearly 60,000 people – have so far received rice.
  • Going forward WFP plans to continue providing high-energy biscuits to families as they arrive, followed by 50kg of rice per month for four months.
  • WFP needs at least $US 14.8 million to scale up assistance to those seeking shelter in the camps for the next four months. The financial needs may increase as the number of people needing assistance increases.  The current planning figure includes:  $US 10.3 million to provide those who have newly arrived with high-energy biscuits and rice (based on a caseload of 300,000 people); $US 3 million to continue support to some 106,000 people who were already living in camps and settlements; $US 1.5 million for nutrition support to women and children.
  • WFP has so far received $US 3.2 million from Denmark and $US 2.4 million from Australia.
  • WFP works with two national NGOs, SHED and MUKTI, as well as ACF, to distribute food in the camps. Red Crescent, IFRC and private donors are also providing assistance.
  • The food for new arrivals comes on top of the assistance that WFP provides to 34,000 registered refugees living in ‘official’ camps, through e-vouchers. Another 72,500 undocumented people living in makeshift camps, who arrived after the last outbreak of violence in October 2016, receive rice and nutrition support.

Photos for digital available here  

For high resolution please contact Rein.Skullerud@wfp.org

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Maherin Ahmed, WFP Bangladesh, Tel. +880-2-9183022 ext. 2164
Silke Buhr, WFP/Bangkok. Mob. +66 (0)81-701-9208
Frances Kennedy, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65133725, Mob. +39 346 7600806
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Steve Taravella, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-556-6909, Mob. +1-202-770-5993