WFP to provide US$1.5mn for refugees in Cox’s Bazar

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will provide US$1.5 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to continue food and nutrition support to up to 31,000 refugees in Cox’s Bazar.

The donation will enable the WFP to continue its work to improve food security and reduce malnutrition among registered refugees living in Kutupalong and Nayapara in Cox’s Bazar until the end of 2012, said a WFP release on Thursday.

“These refugees are almost totally reliant on outside assistance for their daily food needs and are a priority for us,” said WFP Representative in Bangladesh Christa Räder. “This generous contribution from the United States will allow us to continue providing this essential support.”

Since 1992, the WFP has provided food assistance to registered refugees who fled to Bangladesh from Northern Rakhine State in Myanmar. More than half of all refugee households suffer high level of food insecurity. Sixteen percent of children under-5 suffer from acute malnutrition, above the 15 percent emergency threshold, and half the refugee children under-5 are chronically malnourished.

The WFP provides a general ration to meet basic food needs and nutrition support, including blanket supplementary feeding for pregnant and nursing women and children aged 6-23 months.

Moderately undernourished children aged 24-59 months are also provided with a take home supplementary feeding ration. Besides, the WFP provides fortified biscuits to children in primary schools, pre-schools, older children enrolled in non-formal primary education and adolescents attending literacy classes.

In 2011, the WFP had been able to protect the food and nutrition security of 23,965 Rohingya refugees through a fortnightly general food ration; delivered school feeding to 6,325 school.

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