UN urgently appeals for international support for Rohingyas

The United Nations has urgently appealed for international support with immediate funding as Rohingyas in Bangladesh face new cuts in food aid.

“We are extremely concerned that WFP has been forced to cut food aid for the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh — the nutrition and health consequences will be devastating, particularly for women and children and the most vulnerable in the community,” said UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Gwyn Lewis, commenting on the cuts in food aid.

“We urgently appeal for international support,” she said today.

The UNRC said only 24.6 percent of the Rohingya response is funded to provide basic health services, nutrition, food, and education for refugees who do not have any other source of support.

“People living in Rohingya camps are barred from working and they are completely dependent on international community funding,” said Gwyn Lewis.

These new cuts in lifesaving assistance come at a time when Rohingya refugees are recovering from the devastating impacts of Cyclone Mocha and the widespread fire that hit the refugee camps this year, leaving thousands of refugees in desperate need of help.

Rohingya refugees are particularly vulnerable this year because the 2023 Appeal seeking $876 million dollars is only 24.6 percent funded as of June 1, resulting in other critical programmes and activities also being cut.

As of today, the monthly food vouchers that Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar receive are reduced for the second time in three months — a 33 percent reduction in the daily ration.

With the food voucher valued at as little as $8 (Tk 840) per person per month — that’s less than 10 cents per meal — the refugees face grim choices to make ends meet. Parents are already eating less and skipping meals so that their children can eat.

The rations cuts affect approximately 1 million refugees who remain dependent on aid with no possibility of employment to sustain their livelihood.

At the beginning of the year, refugees were receiving a ration from the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) of $12 per person per month, just enough to meet their daily needs, however on March 1, due to lack of funding, the ration was reduced to $10. Now the ration will only have a value of $8 per person.

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