Sittwe, Myanmar – In support of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement (MoSWRR), the Rakhine State Government and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have signed an agreement for the provision of short-term food assistance at quarantine centers across Rakhine State. Under the agreement, which was signed in the first week of September, people undergoing mandatory quarantine at eight townships in Rakhine State will receive three nutritious meals a day, funded by WFP, throughout the quarantine period.
Since mid- August 2020, Rakhine State has seen an increase in local transmission of COVID-19, concentrated around the state capital Sittwe. In addition to a series of immediate prevention and control measures, the Government of Myanmar is contact tracing and preparing quarantine facilities to contain the spread of the virus. As of 10 September 2020, about 1,500 people are under quarantine at government-managed centers across the state.
“MoSWRR is always trying to provide necessary assistance to people affected by disasters, both man-made and natural, and the vulnerable groups of people, with the principle of ‘No one is left behind’. Since the locally transmitted case was reported on 16 August, our ministry is continuously in touch with the Rakhine State Government as well as with national and international humanitarian partners to assess humanitarian needs and facilitate to provide necessary assistance. As the number of cases has increased in recent days, MoSWRR, the Rakhine State Government and the WFP hold talks to provide food assistance in Rakhine State. We would like to appreciate WFP’s cooperation and readiness to support Myanmar, as it has signed an agreement with the Rakhine State Government to support food assistance at the facility based quarantine centers in Rakhine State,” HE Dr. Win Myat Aye , Union Minister of MoSWRR, said.
During the month of September, the State Government and WFP will work together to provide food support at quarantine centres in Ann, Kyauk Phyu, Kyauk Taw, Minbya, Mrauk U, Myebon, Pauk Taw and Sittwe townships. The parties will jointly monitor the evolution of the COVID-19 situation and progress of assistance, and decide on future support accordingly.
“As a United Nations agency assisting the people of Rakhine since 1994, WFP is proud to be partnering with the Ministry of Social Welfare Relief and Resettlement and the Rakhine State Government in ramping up our food assistance to complement the Government’s ongoing COVID-19 response,” Stephen Anderson, WFP’s Country Director in Myanmar, said. “We stand ready to expand our support, if necessary, to Government efforts as it deals with food and nutrition needs of people in Rakhine and elsewhere in Myanmar.”
With the support of MoSWRR, WFP’s food distributions are reaching up to 200,000 conflict-affected and other vulnerable populations in central Rakhine and 100,000 people in northern Rakhine each month. WFP has also supported the Government’s COVID-19 response through the provision of personal protective equipment, sanitizers and infrared digital thermometers in places where it operates, including Rakhine state. Through its ongoing support to returning migrants in quarantine sites, WFP provided food assistance to over 60,000 people in 10 out of 14 states and regions in Myanmar.
Source: World Food Programme