FAO provides disaster relief to Northern Rakhine State

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is offering food subsidies to impoverished communities in northern Rahkine State. Nearly a year on since Cyclone Koman, communities still rely on food assistance.
FAO has provided 1,700 households with paddy seed, cowpeas and vegetable seeds to help them recover from losses due to the flooding. The FAO provided 1,600 households with goats, pigs and training in animal care and breeding.
“Now we are receiving FAO assistance with goats, and we will be able to generate more income. With the extra income we will use the money to buy food and use the rest for the children to attend school,” said An Bira Hatu, a resident of Warcha Village.
According to a 6 May FAO press release, Rahkine State has one of the highest poverty rates in the country at 78 per cent, based off of World Bank statistics.
Warcha Village is located near Buthidaung and Maungtaw Townships, where “the percentage of children consuming the minimum acceptable diet is alarmingly low, at two and three per cent, respectively,” said FAO Myanmar’s Emergency Coordinator Mr Andrea Berloffa.
“FAO’s project in northern Rakhine State aims to improve income-generating opportunities and diversify livelihoods through the provision of livestock and agricultural inputs.
“At the same time, we are increasing access to and availability of food, particularly high-quality animal proteins, to cover basic needs and improve nutrition. This helps communities to be more resilient to withstand future natural disasters,” Mr Berloffa added.
The largely Muslim population of northern Rahkine State faces travel bans that make trade difficult for the communities. Over 10,000 households were levelled by Cyclone Koman, which also damaged 20 per cent of the state’s paddy fields and more than 13,000 hectares of fishponds and 23,000 hectares of shrimp ponds, according to the FAO.—GNLM

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