UPDATE – On October 31st, The government of Canada announced that for every dollar donated to Canadian charities towards the Rohingya refugee emergency, a matching $1 would be added to their Myannmar Crisis fund.
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 600,000 people have fled from 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.
“I hope the match from the Canadian government will spur many more Canadians to donate to help people who are suffering.” Says Foodgrains Bank Executive Director Jim Cornelius. When a donation is made to the Foodgrains Bank’s Rohingya Refugee Appeal by individual Canadians, the Government of Canada will match that amount on a 1:1 basis. The government will then put their match into their Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund, which will be distributed to NGOs and other agencies to help people affected by the crisis.
In addition to the government’s special 1:1 Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund match, donations to the Foodgrains Bank that are designated to this crisis are also eligible to be matched on a 4:1 basis through our regular ongoing grant agreement with the Government of Canada. The appeal runs until November 28. It is retroactive to August 25.
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.”