Bangladesh + 1 more

WFP Bangladesh Country Brief, November 2019

Situation Report
Originally published


In Numbers

7,807 mt of food assistance distributed

US$ 5.2 m cash-based transfers made

US$ 48.3 m six months (December 2019-May 2020) net funding requirements, of which US$ 44.7 m is for the Cox’s Bazar L2 Emergency Response

1.1 m people assisted in November 2019

Operational Updates

• In November, WFP assisted 846,141 refugees with integrated food assistance. Of these, 396,099 refugees received in-kind food distributions, while 450,042 refugees received e-vouchers to exchange for up to 20 food items at e-voucher outlets in the camps.

• WFP observed 16 Days of Activism against Genderbased Violence with events to raise awareness and initiate action amongst beneficiaries and staff. This included highlighting on Twitter what gender equality means to WFP staff. This also included participating in (and winning) a UN cooking competition for male staff called ‘Mister Chef UN’.

• WFP submitted its appeal for the 2020 Joint Response Plan requesting US$ 241 million targeting 978,394 beneficiaries. The Joint Response Plan will be a one-year project document covering the humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazar for refugees and the host community population.

• WFP Goodwill Ambassador Ms Hend Sabry visited WFP operations in Cox’s Bazar on 14 November to advocate for Rohingya Refugees. She also spoke further on her experiences in an interview with radio Colours FM 101.6.

• In early November, Cyclone Bulbul hit northern Bangladesh. The coastal areas (Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong Port) received heavy rainfall before the cyclone made landfall. While no severe damage was reported in the refugee camps, WFP was on standby to assist the Government in its response.

• The Government has started installing barbed-wire fencing, guard towers and cameras around the Rohingya refugee camps. The movement of Rohingya refugees to and from the crowded Cox’s Bazar camps is already severely restricted, with families unable to earn a livelihood and children unable to receive a higher education. These new measures are likely to lead to further restrictions.
The move comes amid growing security concerns and pressure from the Government for repatriation.
WFP operations have not been affected by these new measures.

• WFP organized field visits for 40 trainee officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 5 November in Cox’s Bazar. The field visit served as an introduction to WFP humanitarian programme in Cox’s Bazar.

• WFP also organized field visits for representatives from Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States to provide an overview and understanding of the needs for the ongoing operations in Cox’s Bazar.

• The Ministry of Primary and Mass Education organized a national workshop, titled, ‘Systems Approach for Better Education Result (SABER) School Feeding,’ on 19 November with support from WFP. This included 100 high-level officials from several government agencies,
UN agencies, NGOs, and the SUN Business Network. At this workshop, the Government committed to achieving universal coverage for pre-primary and primary schools, increasing the number of children reached from 3 million presently to 16.8 million by 2024. The workshop also validated early findings on capacity to implement the National School Meals Policy 2019.

• The Resilience Innovation Unit, along with its technical partner Oxfam, are exploring potential microfinance institutions, companies, and local government stakeholders, to design and implement an index-based climate insurance product in the riverine areas of Bangladesh. The objective is to integrate risk transfer solutions that can benefit the smallholder farmers and the most vulnerable households directly or indirectly.