WFP Myanmar Country Brief, November 2016
WFP assisted 27,000 people in need of food assistance from both Muslims and Rakhine communities in northern Rakhine State.
With recent armed conflicts in northern Rakhine and Shan States, WFP’s operations are limited in most areas due to restrictions on movement and access.
WFP expanded the school feeding programme to four new states and regions, effectively adding 16,000 schoolchildren to the programme.
In November, WFP managed to deliver cash assistance to 20,000 regularly-assisted vulnerable people from both Muslim and Rakhine communities in Buthidaung. Food baskets were also provided to 7,000 mostly newly displaced people in four villages of Maungdaw in October and November. Since end-November, access to the operational areas and distributions in northern Rakhine have been again restricted due to ongoing security operations. WFP is working with authorities for the soonest resumption of life-saving food assistance activities. WFP is on standby to assist the remaining 132,000 food-insecure people, normally benefiting from the lean agricultural season programme, nutrition activities and school meals.
The security situation in northern Shan State continues to be unstable due to conflicts between the military and an alliance between ethnic armed organisations, since approximately the 20 November. Currently, WFP’s operations are limited in north and north-western areas affected by the conflicts. WFP was able to continue normal operations in only two townships in the area that benefits from School Feeding, Asset Creation and Nutrition programmes. In addition, the usual food deliveries from WFP’s Lashio Area Office to the Wa Special Administrative Zone remain restricted by the military’s Regional Commander Office since July 2016, along with movement to the north and north western area of northern Shan State.
Following a request by the Chief Minister of Kayin State, 4.2 mt of nutritious biscuit snacks was delivered to displaced children in Myainggyingu on 24 November. The delivery was aimed at helping them reach their daily nutrition needs. For two months, the biscuits will cover 932 school children under the age of five years.
WFP’s school feeding programme was expanded in November to include four new states and regions; namely Sagaing, Mon, Kayin and Kayah. The inclusion of these states and regions means WFP now reaches an additional 16,000 schoolchildren in ethnic minority areas, who have never before received school feeding from WFP. In order to ensure success in the included areas, township education officers and school teachers/ headmasters completed fieldlevel trainings on the implementation of the programme.
The inclusion of these new schoolchildren is part of WFP’s expansion plan for the school feeding programme during the 2016-17 academic year, aiming to reach 300,000 schoolchildren after the inclusion of 100,000 additional students.
On 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Womenkicked off the international campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence”.
In line with this year’s initiative “Orange the World”, WFP offices across the country were coloured orange in support of the campaign, to emphasise how hunger can exacerbate abuse, rape and violence against women and particularly to highlight the need for sustainable funding for initiatives supporting this cause. The work WFP carries out is done with careful consideration to ensure the empowerment and protection of women through its food assistance.
In November, WFP did not reach the targeted 114,500 people in need of food assistance, largely due to access constraints in northern Rakhine State caused by recent security incidents.