The Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH), a group based in Cox’s Bazar refugee camps, has expressed deep concerns about the recent announcement that the World Food Programme (WFP) will have to reduce its general food assistance voucher value from USD 12 to USD 10 per person per month, due to a USD 125 million funding shortfall.
‘As refugees living in the camp, we know first-hand how difficult it is to survive on even $12 per month, and this reduction is likely to have a devastating impact on the already dire situation of our community. It is hard to fathom how we are going to survive on $10 per month when even with $12 per month, people are struggling to make ends meet,’ reads a press release signed by Abdur Rahim, vice-chairman of ARSPH.
The reduction of food assistance is likely to lead to a host of new challenges, including extortion, prostitution, human trafficking, drug trafficking, and radicalization, noted the release, adding, ‘The desperation of our people will create an environment in which these activities thrive, leaving the most vulnerable members of our community at great risk.’
The group pleaded the international community to take urgent action to ensure that the ration sizes do not get cut.
‘It is unacceptable that we, as refugees, are being forced to bear the burden of a funding shortfall that is not of our making. The international community must take responsibility for ensuring that we receive the assistance we need to survive,’ it said.
On behalf of the Rohingya community, they urged the World Food Programme and other humanitarian organizations to find alternative sources of funding to make up for the shortfall.
‘We call on donor countries to increase their contributions to the Rohingya crisis. Our lives depend on it, and we implore the international community not to turn a blind eye to our plight,’ it added.
Source: United News of Bangladesh