Donors losing interest in providing food for Rohingyas: WFP
ROME, Feb 13: Executive Director of World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley has said donor agencies are gradually losing their interest in providing food assistance for the displaced Rohingyas who have taken shelter in Bangladesh.
The WFP executive director came up with the information during a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her hotel suite on Monday evening (Local time).
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque briefed reporters after the meeting.
He said the WFP is playing a leading role in feeding one million displaced Myanmar Rohingyas living in Bangladesh and mentioned that they have distributed food items worth USD 80 million among the Rohingyas in last six months.
As per the WFP assessment, he said, some USD 20-25 million is needed to feed the Rohingyas a month.
"He (Beasley) informed the Prime Minister that the interest of the donor agencies to feed the Rohingyas is decreasing and the WFP is trying to keep alive this interest among the donor agencies under the UN system. But it's very difficult for them to keep it up," Shahidul Haque said.
The WFP executive director also expressed concern over the possibility of mudslide in the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar during monsoon.
"He noticed the matter (mudslide) to the Prime Minister. Our Prime Minister said that some Rohingays will be shifted temporarily to Bhasan Char (an island under Noakhali district) if needed," the Foreign Secretary said.
David Beasley apprised Sheikh Hasina about various campaigns the WFP is carrying out in the international arena over the Rohingya issue. "He said he (Beasley) has briefed the US President twice on the issue," Shahidul Haque said.
Beasley said the WFP thinks that the international community will take steps against the atrocities that took place against the Rohingyas in Rakhine state of Myanmar.
During the meeting, Sheikh Hasina focused on her five-point proposal she placed in the last UN general Assembly for solving the Rohingya crisis permanently.
"She (Hasina) said a bilateral agreement has been made. She requested the international community to continue their pressure on Myanmar for the successful implementation of the agreement," Shahidul said.
Now the WFP is implementing 13 projects in Bangladesh worth about USD 343 million for the 2017-2020 period.
The WFP executive director highlighted various achievements of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in agriculture and food security. "He (Beasley) said the WFP will continuously work with Bangladesh on food security," the Foreign Secretary added.
Later, honorary consuls of Bangladesh in Rome also called on the Prime Minister at her hotel suite.
Hasina urged them to work sincerely to protect the interests of expatriate Bangladeshis living in Italy. —UNB