With monsoon rains on their way, the World Food Programme (WFP) urgently needs more funding to continue providing food assistance Rohingya refugees and local Bangladeshis living in the Cox’s Bazar area close to the border with Myanmar.
“WFP is providing vital food supplies to people who have lost everything and working closely with partners to reduce the risks of the oncoming rainy season – by improving access to the mega camp via foot trails and feeder roads, improving drainage channels and stabilising slopes,” said WFP Emergency Coordinator Peter Guest.
The Joint Response Plan (JRP), launched today in Geneva is a humanitarian appeal for US$ 951 million, to assist 1.3 million people including 884,000 Rohingya refugees and 336,000 host community members until the end of 2018. The appeal includes contingency planning for an estimated 80,000 new arrivals in the coming months. Food alone accounts for 25 percent of the appeal. WFP’s urgently needs USD$ 230 million for food assistance, livelihoods and engineering preparations for the monsoon season.
“Access to food during the rainy season will be a challenge; it’s not just about the logistics of reaching the distribution points or shops in the camp, it’s about families being able to get their food safely home,” he added.
WFP plans to expand its e-voucher programme to cover all existing refugees and the new influx by the end of 2018. Dependent on funding, WFP aims to transition approximately 100,000 refugees per month to e-vouchers that give refugees greater choice with respect to what foods they consume and when they can shop. The e-voucher allows families access to more nutritious foods such as vegetables, eggs and dried fish.
Under the joint response plan WFP will provide significant support to the host community with a particular focus on women. WFP’s Enhancing Food Security and Nutrition, (EFSN), project will target 40,000 vulnerable women, providing them with training on job skills and setting up a business, as well as start-up cash. The EFSN project aims to addresses the underlying causes of food insecurity and undernutrition by giving some of Cox’s Bazar most needy inhabitants the opportunity to change their lives.
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