WFP Myanmar Country Brief, September 2020

In Numbers

510,000 people assisted in September 2020

1,340 mt of food distributed

US$ 2.2 million in cash-based transfers made

US$ 38.7 million in net funding requirements for all operations over next six months (October 2020 – March 2021)

Operational Updates

• Response to COVID-19: The surge in local transmissions of COVID-19 since 16 August continued to rise through September, with hotspots in Rakhine State and Yangon Region. To complement government resources, WFP initiated short-term food assistance to government-managed quarantine sites in eight townships of Rakhine State, reaching 1,290 people by the end of September. WFP planned for an expansion of similar assistance to a treatment center located in the poorest areas of Yangon Region. At the same time, WFP has now reached 67,100 returning migrants with short-term food and nutrition assistance for a 21-day period while they are in government-managed quarantine sites, in 10 out of 14 states and regions. Following the Government announcement temporarily suspending domestic commercial services, WFP is working with the authorities to arrange a series of humanitarian flights to connect Yangon and Sittwe for aid partners and health workers. (Please refer to COVID-19 Situation Report #11 for further details).

• Rakhine and Chin: Following the successful relief food distribution in August at Paletwa and Samee towns of southern Chin State, WFP reached 3,400 internally displaced people (IDPs) at Samee in September, and is organizing further deliveries to Paletwa. In central Rakhine, WFP’s two-month ration of food and cash assistance in August supported the food needs of 135,300 vulnerable people through September. Moreover, in response to access challenges caused by COVID-19, WFP delivered emergency cash assistance, using electronic transfers, to 35,100 newly displaced people affected by the ongoing armed conflict between the Myanmar Military and the Arakan Army. WFP distributed two-month rations of fortified blended food in August, which provided nutrition support to 31,500 children aged 6-59 months and 5,700 pregnant and lactating women through September.

In northern Rakhine, WFP received permission, albeit delayed, to conduct September distribution of food and nutrition assistance, due to the Government’s new requirement that aid workers be tested negative for COVID-19 prior to field visits. To meet beneficiary needs, WFP will start distributions in early October targeting some 96,000 people with emergency food and nutrition assistance. WFP’s food assistance in September reached 2,000 new IDPs, displaced by armed conflict.

• Kachin & Shan: Together with the Department of Social Welfare, WFP and partners started distributing cash grants to pregnant women in Kachin under COVID-19 social protection. Through this collaboration, the Government initially provided 17 pregnant women with US$ 23 (MMK 30,000) each, using the Ngwe Bike mobile application.

• WFP provided relief assistance to 7,700 Kachin conflict-affected people in September, while the twomonth rations distributed in August continued supporting 36,000 people. In Shan State, WFP provided 13,700 people with relief food and cash assistance, complemented by nutrition interventions.

Source: World Food Programme