WFP Needs Urgent Support to Provide Food Assistance to Rohingya and Host Communities in Bangladesh

Published March 16, 2018
Last Updated November 10, 2020

COX’S BAZAR – With monsoon rains on their way, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) urgently needs more funding to continue providing food assistance Rohingya refugees and local Bangladeshis living in the Cox’s Bazar area close to the border with Myanmar.

“WFP is providing vital food supplies to people who have lost everything and working closely with partners to reduce the risks of the oncoming rainy season –  by improving access to the mega camp via foot trails and feeder roads, improving drainage channels and stabilizing slopes,” said WFP Emergency Coordinator Peter Guest.

The Joint Response Plan (JRP), launched today in Geneva is a humanitarian appeal for US$ 951 million, to assist 1.3 million people including 884,000 Rohingya refugees and 336,000 host community members until the end of 2018. The appeal includes contingency planning for an estimated 80,000 new arrivals in the coming months. Food alone accounts for 25 percent of the appeal. WFP’s urgently needs USD$ 230 million for food assistance, livelihoods and engineering preparations for the monsoon season.

“Access to food during the rainy season will be a challenge; it’s not just about the logistics of reaching the distribution points or shops in the camp, it’s about families being able to get their food safely home,” he added.

WFP plans to expand its e-voucher programme to cover all existing refugees and the new influx by the end of 2018. Dependent on funding, WFP aims to transition approximately 100,000 refugees per month to e-vouchers that give refugees greater choice with respect to what foods they consume and when they can shop. The e-voucher allows families access to more nutritious foods such as vegetables, eggs and dried fish.

Under the joint response plan WFP will provide significant support to the host community with a particular focus on women. WFP’s Enhancing Food Security and Nutrition, (EFSN), project will target 40,000 vulnerable women, providing them with training on job skills and setting up a business, as well as start-up cash. The EFSN project aims to addresses the underlying causes of food insecurity and undernutrition by giving some of Cox’s Bazar most needy inhabitants the opportunity to change their lives.


Number of refugees on average receiving WFP food assistance per month 800,000
Women and children given special nutritious food per month 139,000
People enrolled in e-voucher programme so far 90,000
Members of host communities assisted so far this year 40,000
E-vouchers can be used in allocated shops to buy 19 different foods
At our 17 Supplementary Feeding Centres, under-fives are assessed for acute malnutrition.

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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

For more information, please contact (email address:

Shelley Thakral, WFP/Bangladesh, Mob. +8801755642150

Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057

Steve Taravella, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-556-6909, Mob. 1-202-770-5993

Challiss McDonough, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1-202-653-1149, Mob. +1-202-774-4026