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Japan's support to Rohingyas contribute to broader goal of fostering stability, peace in the region: Ambassador

Japan's support to Rohingyas contribute to broader goal of fostering stability, peace in the region: Ambassador

Diplomatic Correspondent

The World Food Programme (WFP) has received a new contribution of US$5.4 million from the government of Japan. A handover ceremony was held in Dhaka on Thursday with the participation of Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminori, and WFP Bangladesh Country Director Dom Scalpelli.

"We are pleased to have decided to provide $5.4 million in life-saving food assistance to the displaced Rohingya people through WFP, building on the $4.4 million provided in June last year,” said Ambassador Iwama.

This contribution underscores Japan's "unwavering commitment" to humanitarian aid and our dedication to addressing hunger and malnutrition, he said.

"By supporting the Rohingya community, we alleviate immediate suffering and contribute to the broader goal of fostering stability and peace in the region," said the ambassador.

In 2023, dwindling donor funding forced WFP to reduce the monthly food entitlement for the entire Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar from US$12 per person per month to US$10 in March, then to US$8 in June.

The latest monitoring by WFP and humanitarian partners has shown that the situation in the camps has deteriorated significantly, with a staggering 90 per cent of the population lacking access to an adequate diet and over 15 per cent of young children suffering from malnutrition.

More worrying still is the increasing violence and insecurity in the camps, as well as human trafficking. UNHCR reported that nearly 4,500 Rohingya refugees embarked on deadly sea journeys in 2023 – a significant increase from previous years.

Thanks to the commitment of the donor community, starting 1 January, WFP has partially restored the ration to US$10 per person per month and added locally fortified rice into the assistance package for the first time.

The timely funding from Japan will enable WFP to continue providing life-saving food assistance and bolstering disaster risk reduction initiatives for the Rohingya refugees. It will also be used to support the host community in Cox’s Bazar in building their resilience against climate shocks.

“We are deeply grateful for Japan's latest funding and their steadfast support over the years," said WFP Country Director Scalpelli.

"While we are encouraged by the partial increase of the rations, the escalating hunger and malnutrition rates in the camps highlight the urgent need to fully restore the ration. We rely on Japan and the rest of the donor community to continue their vital support, ensuring that we can meet, at least, the Rohingya’s basic food and nutrition needs until they can be repatriated safely.”

WFP needs another US$38 million in funding to fully restore the ration – now US$12.5 per person per month, with fortified rice added – for the remainder of the year.

 

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