“The squalor of the refugee camps around Cox’s Bazar is hard to imagine, the nervous energy, the pressing masses of people, the mud and the grit and the smell.”
“Surely every form of human tragedy can be found here.”
This is how Silke Buhr, a communications officer with the World Food Programme (WFP), describes what she has recently seen in Bangladesh, where more than half a million people — mostly Rohingya — have fled to escape what the U.N.’s top human rights official calls “ethnic cleansing” in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State.
In the fishing port of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, what was once a green, coastal landscape is now filled with makeshift homes and roofs, providing some semblance of shelter and safety.
WFP has provided food to the majority of people who have fled into Bangladesh over the last few weeks.
By The Numbers
According to the latest figures from the field:
- More than 580,000 people have been registered to receive 55 pounds of rice per household every two weeks for the next six months. WFP is now in the late third round of rice distributions.
- Packages of nutrient-rich, High-Energy Biscuits have been provided to more than 260,000 people as an emergency measure. These biscuits are crucial for those who don’t have access to cooking facilities. An additional 661,000 pounds of biscuits are being provided to learning centers and child-friendly spaces managed by UNICEF, BRAC, the U.N. Population Fund and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
- WFP has provided 63,000 children and mothers with SuperCereal Plus. This fortified wheat-soya blend is used to make a nutritious porridge for those who have arrived across the border hungry and malnourished.
- The agency continues to provide rice in community kitchens managed by partner Action Against Hunger (ACF), which feeds an average of 50,000 people every day.
As the leader of the U.N. Logistics Cluster, WFP is also supporting the telecommunications and transportation needs of the humanitarian community. Right now, the agency is working to set up a logistics hub for all partners that will include storage for food, sanitation kits and medical supplies. Eight mobile storage units have been built so far.