The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has started handing out food to the most vulnerable families in Cox’s Bazar affected by shutdowns due to coronavirus.
Alongside making changes in the food distribution process in the Rohingya camps, WFP is working with local government authorities to provide support to the host communities as needed, the agency said Monday.
As well as providing food to vulnerable households, WFP is also supplying food to patients in the government and humanitarian-managed quarantine and isolation facilities in the district, it said.
This includes dry food rations for up to 1,500 patients to the isolation facilities and hot meals (locally known as Khichuri) to up to 3,000 people in the government quarantine centre.
These distributions are complementing ongoing food assistance provided by the government of Bangladesh.
“It’s great that WFP stands together in solidarity with the people of Cox’s Bazar during this critical time of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak,” said Md Kamal Hossain, Deputy Commissioner of the district.
He said the district administration highlights the importance of coordination to overcome this crisis. “If the lockdown continues, as is happening throughout the world, the suffering will multiply soon. Therefore, the district administration is grateful to WFP for supporting the host community of Cox’s Bazar.”
Richard Ragan, WFP Representative to Bangladesh, said they always believe that a collective effort is the key to dealing with a crisis like coronavirus.
“Hence, to support people in the host community and in the Rohingya camps we have taken these initiatives alongside the government of Bangladesh to mitigate the risks and impacts of this virus,” he said.
The distributions began this week and will continue on a monthly basis.