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Myanmar: WFP Food Assistance Reaches More Than 400,000 Flood Victims

YANGON - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has provided life-saving food to more than 408,000 flood affected people in Myanmar since emergency relief efforts began on 2 August, within 48 hours of the President’s declaration of a state of natural disaster.

“WFP has supported the Government of Myanmar to save lives with emergency food, including supporting many who are reachable only on foot, after floods and landslides destroyed roads across the country”, says WFP Country Director & Resident Representative Dom Scalpelli. “It is quite an achievement, and I would like to thank our funding and cooperating partners for their support.”

With the provision of free transport by the Government and local airlines (Air Bagan, Air KBZ, Golden Myanmar Airlines and Myanmar National Airlines), a total of more than 2,500 metric tons of food has been delivered to the flood-affected areas so far.

More than 1.7 million people in Myanmar have been affected by widespread flooding and landslides as a result of heavy monsoon rains since early August. This natural disaster has severely damaged infrastructure, crops, businesses, food stores, homes and community assets.

WFP, working with the Government, other United Nations organizations and NGOs, aims to have reached more than 440,000 people with food assistance in Bago, Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Magway, Mon, Rakhine and Sagaing by the beginning of September. People affected by the flooding receive a one-month ration of rice, pulses, cooking oil, and salt. In some cases, they also receive a week’s supply of high-energy biscuits.

The flood response could go on until July 2016. However, the rapid response has affected other WFP programmes in the country. Limited food stocks in Myanmar along with a funding shortfall, mean that in order to focus on the most vulnerable people – those affected by the floods -- some other programmes have been temporarily reduced or suspended.

WFP has had to temporarily suspend community assets creation and school feeding programmes, nutrition assistance for pregnant women and nursing mothers, and the provision of food for people living with HIV and TB. At the same time, rations for displaced people in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan States will be reduced. In August, internally displaced persons (IDPs) will receive a full ration of rice - but no pulses, cooking oil or salt. Malnourished children will not be affected by these temporary measures. They will continue to receive a full ration of fortified blended food.

WFP is appealing for additional resources to respond to the emergency. A total of US$12.3 million is now urgently required to meet flood needs. This is in addition to US$17 million required to meet the food needs of other, non-flood-related programmes in the country until the end of the year.

The flood relief efforts have so far been supported through new and previous contributions from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, European Union, Germany, Japan, Myanmar, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States as well as the Japan Association for WFP, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund and the private sector.

The Myanmar language version of this news release is available at this link

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Find out more about WFP’s emergency operations in Myanmar here.

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 75 countries.

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For more information please contact:

Damian Kean, WFP/Bangkok, Mob. +66 81 701 9208
Angeli Mendoza, WFP/Bangkok, Mob. +66 81 843 3915
Arsen Sahakyan, WFP/Yangon, Mob. +95 9 450061242