World Food Programme (WFP) has started distributing food to the most vulnerable families in Cox's Bazar impacted by the countrywide shutdown due to coronavirus (Covid-19).
Alongside making changes in the food distribution process in the Rohingya camps to mitigate the risk of Covid-19, WFP is working with local government authorities to provide support to the host communities as needed, the UN Food Agency said in a statement today.
"WFP is also supplying food to patients in the government and humanitarian-managed quarantine and isolation facilities in Cox's Bazar," it said.
The supplies include dry food rations for up to 1,500 patients in the isolation facilities and hot meals for to up-to 3,000 people in the government quarantine centre. These distributions are complementing the ongoing food assistance provided by the government.
"It is great that WFP stands together in solidarity with the people of Cox's Bazar during this critical time of the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak," said MD Kamal Hossain, deputy commissioner for Cox's Bazar.
"The district administration highlights the importance of coordination to overcome this crisis. If the lockdown continues, as is happening throughout the world, the suffering will multiply soon. Therefore, the district administration is grateful to WFP for supporting the host community of Cox's Bazar," he added.
WFP always believes that a collective effort is the key to dealing with a crisis like the spread of Covid-19, said Richard Ragan, WFP Representative to Bangladesh.
"Hence, to support people in the host community and in the Rohingya camps we have taken these initiatives alongside the Government of Bangladesh to mitigate the risks and impacts of this virus."
The distribution began this week and will continue on a monthly basis. As more funding becomes available, WFP will be able to reach more people with further assistance including unconditional cash transfers, WFP said in the statement.