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Updated On: Sunday, 22 September 2019

WFP Aid for Rohingya Refugees

Content by: South-South News

3 October 2017, New York, USA | South-South News — The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley, reiterated WFP’s commitment to supporting people fleeing violence in Myanmar as he met refugee families and saw WFP relief activities in the new settlements in the Cox’s Bazar area.

Before the current influx of refugees from Myanmar, 30,000 people were living in Kutupalong Camp. There are now approximately 300,000. In a month since the recent surge in violence in Myanmar began on August 25, 2017, a total of more than half a million people, mostly women and children, have arrived in Bangladesh.

Frequent rains cover the overflowing settlements with mud, making movement difficult and creating hygienic risks and diseases like diarrhea from inadequate latrines.

WHO is warning of a growing risk of cholera. The Bangladesh government and international community are rapidly trying to expand the infrastructure of the camps.

In recent days, the influx of people coming across has slowed down but on this day, it was estimated some 2,000 people came across the border.

Dil Mohammed is 22 years old. He has just arrived in Bangladesh after spending 15 days lost in the jungle. He is from Tula Toli, Myanmar, where a massacre was reported. “They were burning us, they were burning our houses, so where could we live? Whenever they found any men, they just cut them and killed them. They cut many people in our area. We hid in the forest to get away from this. I gathered these few things and hid in the forest,” Dil said.

Nur Bahar is holding her 3-month-old baby, Shahed. After her brother and father were killed, they fled from Myanmar by boat. She worked as a fisherwoman in Myanmar. She said, “We left the house before they started burning. We saw our neighbor’s house on fire and fled. We couldn’t bring anything from our house just had the clothes we were wearing. We couldn’t take anything.”

Beasley paid his first visit to Bangladesh since his assuming office in April. He visited a WFP food distribution in an area adjacent to Kutupalong refugee camp, where hundreds of thousands of people have settled in makeshift shelters over the past month. He said, “They’ve come with only the shirts on their backs, just trying to survive and this is not the ideal situation but at least they are safe and sound right now but we need support from the international community to step up immediately because when you are trying to feed 500 thousand people that have come in just literally a month there’s allot of work to be done and so we need the international community to step up, help the government and the people of Bangladesh who have poured out their hearts who have opened up their land and trying to make a miserable situation as good as it can possibly be.”

Beasley toured a 2,000-acre area that has been allocated by the government to accommodate the new arrivals. He also visited a WFP e-voucher shop, where registered refugees redeem monthly electronic food vouchers.

WFP has distributed rice to some 460,000 refugees, and has also been providing high-energy biscuits to more than 200,000 people as a one-off emergency measure when they arrive in the settlements and at border crossing points.

As the situation stabilizes, WFP plans to transition to more sophisticated programs, especially with a view to supporting the nutritional needs of women and children and developing electronic voucher programs that integrate with markets.

The food for new arrivals comes in addition to assistance that WFP provides through e-vouchers to 34,000 registered refugees living in official camps. Another 72,500 undocumented refugees living in makeshift camps, who arrived after the last outbreak of violence in October 2016, before the present influx, receive rice and nutrition support.


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