WFP feeding thousands in unrest-hit Rakhine state

Saturday, November 10, 2012
[PHOTO: UNifeed] 
Sittwe, Myanmar: The World Food Programme (WFP) is providing food assistance to around a hundred thousand displaced people in Myanmar's Rakhine state following the recent upsurge in violence there.

Rakhine state is an extremely remote, undeveloped region where inter-communal violence has forced tens of thousands of people from their homes in recent months.

WFP is dispatching and distributing food for more than 35,000 people in all Rakhine townships affected by the surge in violence in October.  Most of the affected communities can only be reached by water transport. WFP is moving most of its food on small, boats along the shallow waterways.  

The agency also continues to provide regular food assistance to about 65,000 people displaced in June, who are now living in camps in and around Sittwe town.  Food prices in Sittwe and the surrounding area are reported to have increased dramatically in recent days, putting an extra strain on the resources of people living in this already very poor region of Myanmar.

WFP estimates a requirement of US$11 million over the next six months to provide for the food needs of over 100,000 displaced people. All food commodities, except oil, can be purchased locally in Myanmar and shipped directly to the affected areas.

Since June, food aid has at all times included rations of Super Cereal – a specialised nutritious food – in the assistance given to pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under five amongst the displaced. This is a preventive measure designed to guard against malnutrition. -UNifeed
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