Bringing greater economic opportunities for the host community, WFP reopens farmers’ markets in Rohingya camps
DHAKA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has reopened its fresh food corners in the Rohingya camps, allowing trade and business activities to resume after months of closure due to COVID-19 prevention measures. An important economic opportunity for local farmers and traders in Cox’s Bazar, the fresh food corners have benefitted both the refugees and their host community.
The fresh food corners are part of the Farmers’ Market initiative where local smallholder farmers and traders are engaged in selling their produce at WFP e-voucher outlets and farmers’ market sites in the camps. From there, Rohingya families can get a variety of foods using their WFP Assistance Card. WFP then transfers the money directly to the farmers and traders.
“This initiative shows the dual benefits that can come out of a humanitarian response. WFP is proud to be supporting the local community and the Rohingya families, to improve their lives and contribute to social cohesion,” said Richard Ragan, WFP Country Director in Bangladesh. “WFP plans to take this initiative further so that more local farmers and retailers can benefit from this programme.”
Before the farmers’ market had to be paused due to the pandemic, around US$47,000 were transferred to 12 smallholder farmers and traders from the local community every month. With the reopening, four markets sites are now active, with a combined transaction of more than US$100,000 each month.
By May 2021, WFP hopes to bring the farmers’ market to 30 percent of the population in the camps in Cox’s Bazar, with monthly transactions touching US$500,000.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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