The government of Japan and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) concluded an agreement on Monday which will provide US$ 5 million to support Bangladeshi smallholder farmers and Rohingya people displaced from Myanmar.
The agreement was signed by WFP Bangladesh Representative and Country Director, Richard Ragan, and Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh Hiroyasu Izumi at a ceremony at the WFP Country Office.
WFP urgently needs US $52 million to continue providing assistance through June 2019, according to WFP.
“We thank the people of Japan for their continued assistance to this ongoing crisis in Cox’s Bazar. The needs remain substantial and this contribution enables us to continue our support to displaced people while developing new programming to support Bangladeshi smallholder farmers,” said Ragan.
“From this project, both farmers and displaced people will benefit. I sincerely wish that this project will be able to contribute to the development of Bangladesh and support of displaced people in Cox’s Bazar,” said Ambassador Hiroyasu Izumi.
Japan’s contribution will support 2,000 Bangladeshi smallholder farmers in Patuakhali and Cox’s Bazar Districts with training and new tools and infrastructure to support their livelihoods.
Part of the contribution will support the expansion of WFP’s e-voucher programme to people displaced from Myanmar. This innovative programme allows participants to obtain a variety of food at special outlets contracted by WFP in the settlements.
About a quarter of people displaced from Myanmar in Cox’s Bazar receive assistance by e-voucher, and this contribution from Japan will support 21,000 people with e-voucher assistance for 12 months.
This represents a continuation of Japan’s strong support to WFP’s response in Bangladesh. Japan contributed US$ 15 million to WFP Bangladesh in the beginning of the response, which provided timely funding in a time of great need.
Japanese funds supported the construction of a bridge in the middle of the Kutupalong-Balukhali expansion site, which provides vital access to a section of the settlement that was completely unreachable by trucks carrying food and other supplies.
In Cox’s Bazar, WFP provides food assistance to over 870,000 people per month who have been displaced from Myanmar. WFP also supports nutrition and livelihoods interventions in the host community, supporting the most vulnerable people.