World Relief is joining with other members of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank members to respond to the needs of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh,where over half a million people have fled extreme violence in Myanmar in search of safety and freedom. With the assistance from Global Affairs Canada, Canada Foodgrains Bank members are supporting two projects in the Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh, where many of the refugees have fled.
World Relief Canada is supporting the distribution of emergency rations of rice, lentils, oil, sugar, salt and high energy biscuits, to 3000 for three months (about 18,000 people). Participating in a a joint coordinated response like this is allowing World Relief to impact many more people than we could have on our own. With bulk purchases of food items the cost to provide emergency food supplies for one family of 6 is just $240.
“It’s a rapidly growing humanitarian crisis where hundreds of thousands of innocent people are in urgent need of help,” says Foodgrains Bank program manager Matthew Van Geest, who is coordinating the response on behalf of the partnership organization. “We’re glad that through our member churches and agencies, the Canadian church can be so visible in the face of so much suffering,” he adds.
Violence broke out in the northern Rakhine state at the end of August when Rohingya militants attacked government forces. According to the United Nations, the Myanmar government responded against the Rohingya with disproportionate violence. Entire villages have been destroyed, and there has been widespread panic and flight.
“The Rohingya people have experienced incredible trauma in recent weeks as they flee from Myanmar,” says Ken Kim, chair of the Foodgrains Bank board of directors, and director of disaster response at World Renew. “The accounts of those interviewed are harrowing. Many have walked for over ten days with nothing in search of safety in Bangladesh. They are exhausted, hungry and in desperate need of basic support.” For $240 someone’ like Lal Bana and her newborn will know they will have food for the next three months until they are able to move on to a permanent home.