New EU funding helps WFP provide food assistance to Rohingya refugees and ensure their safety through the monsoon season
“Two years on since the biggest influx of the Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh, the situation in the camps in Cox’s Bazar remains critical,” says Richard Ragan, WFP Representative and Country Director in Bangladesh. “Among the nearly 1 million refugees, 80 per cent of them rely entirely on WFP’s food assistance. This timely funding from the EU will help us support the most vulnerable children and women. Part of it will also go towards our disaster preparedness work in the camps.”
Cox’s Bazar is the largest and most densely populated refugee camp in the world. The Rohingya refugees are facing heightened risks during the current monsoon season. Camps have already been flooded and threatened with landslides. The new EU contribution will help WFP ensure that refugee needs are met during this challenging time.
In 2018, the EU provided EUR 12 million to help WFP respond to the urgent needs of the most vulnerable Rohingya refugees, playing a major role in enabling WFP’s continuing transition from in-kind food distribution to an electronic voucher system. Half of all refugees now receive food assistance through e-vouchers and by early next year all refugees will receive food this way. With a prepaid WFP Assistance Card, families can now choose from a wide variety of nutritious food available at designated e-voucher shops in the camps.
“Through our collective efforts, we have saved many lives since the Rohingya crisis began over two years ago,” said Christos Stylianides, the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. “The challenge however is far from over as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya rely on humanitarian aid to survive. This latest contribution from the European Union is a testament to our continued commitment to help those in need, ensuring that they continue to receive life-saving food assistance from our partner WFP while being protected from the effects of the monsoons.”
The EU has been one of WFP’s key donors in Bangladesh, providing over EUR 41 million since 2014. That continuous supporthas helped WFP provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict, natural hazards and climate change.