UK announces broad support for Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh

Published on 08 October 2018

A family in their tent at the Balukhali makeshift, in Cox's Bazar. Copyright: WFP/Saikat Mojumder

DHAKA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Bangladesh welcomes a new contribution of US $22.25 million from the United Kingdom to support the Rohingya refugee response in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.*

The Department for International Development (DFID) has been a generous supporter of WFP activities in Cox’s Bazar, including an innovative e-voucher programme which allows refugees to purchase a variety of food items at specially designated shops. DFID has also supported engineering and logistics cluster activities, enabling WFP to preserve humanitarian access during the monsoon period.

This new contribution will support a wide variety of activities within WFP’s response, including in-kind food assistance to over 680,000 refugees, e-vouchers for some quarter of a million refugees, and essential nutritional interventions for the most vulnerable. In addition, the host Bangladeshi community will benefit from programmes that supports women and their families with a grant for entrepreneurship activities. The contribution also allows WFP to continue the provision of logistics, telecommunications and engineering common services for the entire humanitarian community. 

“DFID’s aid allows us to continue to provide urgent life-saving assistance. As we move into the second year of the response, the needs remain substantial. This significant contribution enables us to deliver on the food security and nutritional needs of the most vulnerable who depend on WFP for the daily meal,” said WFP Representative and Country Director, Richard Ragan.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “One year into this latest crisis it is still difficult to comprehend the depth of human suffering endured by the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people living within the Cox’s Bazar camps.”

“Ensuring that nursing mothers are fed and malnourished children have enough to eat so that they get the best start in life is at the heart of what we do. UK aid through the World Food Programme is providing a vital lifeline to the Rohingya people who have been forced to flee their homes in Burma and are struggling to survive in Bangladesh,” she said.

In Cox’s Bazar, WFP provides food assistance to over 860,000 refugees per month. WFP also supports nutrition and livelihoods interventions in the host community, supporting the most vulnerable people. WFP urgently needs US $66 million to continue providing assistance through to March 2019.

*A previous version of this news release incorrectly gave the impression that the people in Coxs Bazar were facing monsoons when in fact the monsoon season is largely over.

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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):

David Peterson, WFP/Dhaka, Mob. +88 01701202924
Frances Kennedy WFP/Bangkok. Mob. +0066 84 555 8995 
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 2321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Francis Mwanza, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 (0)20 3857 7411, Mob. +44 (0)7968 008474
Herve Verhoosel, WFP/Geneva, Mob. +41 798428057
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-653-1149, Mob. +1-202-774-4026
Steve Taravella, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-556-6909, Mob.  +1-202-770-5993