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Japan to provide $5m for Rohingyas, local farmers in Cox's Bazar

  • Published at 05:40 pm October 21st, 2020
rohingya refugee camp
File Photo: Bangladesh has been hosting more than a million Rohingyas in sprawling camps in Cox’s Bazar after they fled persecution in Myanmar Reuters

The contribution will support 2,400 Bangladeshi local farmers in Cox’s Bazar district who will provide fresh, locally sourced vegetables at the market servicing 20,000 Rohingyas

The government of Japan will provide $5 million to support the Rohingyas sheltered in Cox’s Bazar and the local farmers.

An agreement between Japan and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) was signed on Wednesday in this regard, according to the Japanese embassy in Bangladesh.

The WFP Bangladesh deputy country director, Alpha Bah, and the ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh, Naoki Ito signed the deal on behalf of their respective authorities at the WFP country office in Dhaka.

Japan’s contribution will support WFP’s Farmers’ Market operation, supporting 2,400 Bangladeshi local farmers in Cox’s Bazar district who will provide fresh, locally sourced vegetables at the market servicing 20,000 Rohingyas who were displaced from Myanmar. The WFP farmers’ market model ensures the engagement of local farmers and traders to sell their produce at a fair price, encouraging localization of the food supply chain and injecting money into the local economy.

“The farmers’ market model demonstrates the enormous economic opportunities the refugee response can provide to local populations,” said Alpha. “The market is mutually beneficial too, providing income to local food producers and increasing dietary diversity among the refugee population.”

“From this project, both farmers of host Community and displaced people will get benefit. I sincerely hope that this project will be able to support the “Rohingya” refugee and host community in Cox’s Bazar, and to contribute to the stable development of Bangladesh” said Naoki Ito.”

Through WFP’s farmers’ market, refugees have access to fresh foods regularly, directly from the local producers which they purchase using a WFP Assistance Card. By building a symbiotic economic relationship, it also contributes to a peaceful co-existence and social cohesion between those two groups.

Since the massive influx of refugees into Bangladesh in August 2017, the government of Japan granted approximately $126 million to international organizations and NGOs. It has also contributed approximately $42 million to the 2020 joint response plan, including this support to WFP.

In Cox’s Bazar, WFP provides food assistance to 860,000 Rohingyas per month and more than 500,000 vulnerable people in the host community.

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