The newly appointed Country Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) Mr. Domenico Scalpelli presented his credentials to Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen, MP at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Foreign Minister recalled his last meeting with the WFP Executive Director Mr. David M. Beasely and thanked WFP for commencing work in support of the Rohingya relocated to Bhashan Char. The WFP Country Representative informed the Foreign Minister about his upcoming trip to Bhashan Char and thanked the government for providing support to WFP staff with accommodation, transportation, and other facilities there.
Dr. Momen took interest in Mr. Scalpelli’s previous experience of serving in Myanmar and urged WFP and other UN agencies operating in Myanmar’s Rakhine State to help create an environment conducive to the safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingya now sheltered in Bangladesh to Myanmar.
Mr. Scalpelli appreciated Bangladesh’s generosity to host the forcibly displaced Rohingya and urged the Foreign Minister to impress upon the international community to continue support for WFP’s much-needed work in the humanitarian crisis.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister raised concerns over food insecurity around the world and suggested setting up a Regional Food Bank in South Asia as a strategic reserve for the region. He urged WFP to enhance its focus on the issue of nutrition as part of its various programs carried out in collaboration with the Government.
The WFP Country Representative thanked Bangladesh for providing leadership of its Executive Board at a critical time for the international community. The Foreign Minister assured Mr. Scalpelli of necessary cooperation from the government in effectively discharging his mandate.