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UN plans to feed up to 700,000 Rohingya refugees

The UN has drawn up a contingency plan to feed up to 700,000 Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar after some 480,000 fled to Bangladesh over the past month and arrivals continue.

UN plans to feed up to 700,000 Rohingya refugees
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Rohingya refugees stretch their hands to receive aid distributed by local organisations

A senior official from the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) told AFP they were now prepared to provide massive food and other emergency aid if the influx continues in coming weeks.

“All the UN agencies together have now set a plan for a new influx of 700,000. We can cover if the new influx reaches 700,000,” said the WFP’s deputy chief in Bangladesh, Dipayan Bhattacharyya, today.

Rohingya have been fleeing Rakhine state in northeast Myanmar for decades. The new influx began on August 25 when deadly attacks by Rohingya militants on Myanmar police posts prompted a huge crackdown by the military.

Bhattacharyya said the hunger situation in camps has improved as food aid from WFP and other agencies is now reaching the refugees.

He said the plan also covers some 300,000 Rohingya who were already sheltering in southeast Bangladesh before the latest influx began -- meaning it could cater for a million people in total.

“No one would be left out from any humanitarian assistance,” he said, adding that the WFP would need about $80 million for the massive aid.

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