WFP in Bangladesh welcomes a new contribution of £8 million from the United Kingdom to support the Rohingya refugees
This new contribution will support WFP to provide 270,600 refugees with life-saving assistance over three months through electronic vouchers (e-vouchers). This programme allows refugees to purchase a variety of food items from 25 WFP e-voucher outlets across the Rohingya refugee camps.
Families receive an allocation of USD 9 (BDT 770) per person per month to spend at the e-voucher outlets. The money is loaded onto a prepaid WFP Assistance Card which families use to choose from food items such as fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, chicken, eggs, spices, and other staples. The e-voucher outlets are run by local traders, providing economic opportunities to the host community.
“DFID’s contribution allows us to provide immediate food assistance through e-vouchers,” said WFP Representative and Country Director, Richard Ragan. “E-vouchers create market linkages with the host community. Most food items provided in WFP shops are procured in Bangladesh, with fresh items procured locally in Cox’s Bazar district. WFP aims to transition all refugees to e-vouchers by mid-2020.”
As of September 2019, WFP was providing food assistance to over 842,100 refugees per month, half of whom receive food through e-vouchers and the other half receiving in-kind food distributions of rice, lentils, and oil. With support from DFID, WFP has also piloted a Farmers Market for families currently receiving in-kind assistance. Through the markets, refugees can access fresh produce, meat and fish to improve their nutritional diets.
The Department for International Development (DFID) has been a generous supporter of WFP activities in Cox’s Bazar. DFID previously supported WFP with a contribution of 11.3 million GBP in 2017, 17 million GBP in 2018, and 20.4 million GBP in 2019.
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