COX'S BAZAR • The United Nations 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 with more continuing to do so.
A senior official from the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) told AFP they were now prepared to provide massive food and other emergency aid if the influx continues in coming weeks.
WFP's deputy chief in Bangladesh Dipayan Bhattacharyya said yesterday: "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."
The Rohingya have been fleeing Rakhine state in north-east Myanmar for decades. The new influx began on Aug 25, when deadly attacks by Rohingya militants on Myanmar police posts prompted a huge crackdown by the military.
Mr Bhattacharyya said the hunger situation in the 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 sheltered in south-east Bangladesh before the latest influx began - meaning it could cater for a million people in total.
"No one would be left out of any humanitarian assistance," he said, adding that the WFP would need about US$80 million (S$109 million) for the massive aid.