UN releases emergency funds for cyclone-hit refugees in Bangladesh

United Nations, Jun 2 (IANS): The UN has released $3 million for emergency relief following tropical cyclone Mocha's pounding of southeastern Bangladesh, a UN spokesman said.

UN Undersecretary-General Martin Griffiths, who is also the emergency relief coordinator, authorised the allocation from the Central Emergency Response Fund following the storm's devastation last month in the camps for 40,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and their host communities, said Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Thursday.

"With this emergency funding, humanitarian partners will focus on shelter support, infrastructure repair, debris clearance and the replenishment of relief items," Dujarric told a regular briefing.

The spokesman took the opportunity to spell out the consequences of what happens when the world body's agencies run out of money to finance monthly rations for each person, Xinhua news agency reported.

"The World Food Programme (WFP) has been forced to reduce the value of food vouchers to Rohingya refugees from $10 to $8 (per person) per month," he said.

"That's less than 9 cents per meal. This is the second time the WFP has had to cut rations in just three months in that particular area."

Dujarric added that in March, the food vouchers were cut from $12 to $10 per person per month due to a funding crisis.

"This is yet another example of what happens when there is no money," he said.

"In this case, that's nearly one million Rohingya refugees who remain completely dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs, including food."

Dujarric added the WFP is urgently appealing for $50 million to restore the food assistance to the full amount of $12 per person per month.

"Anything below that value will have dire consequences, not only on nutrition for women and children, but also education, protection, and safety and security for everyone in the camps," he said.

"All of us, and especially the UN country team in Bangladesh, is very concerned about this particular crisis."


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Title: UN releases emergency funds for cyclone-hit refugees in Bangladesh

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