World Food Programme warns of growing hunger in Myanmar

Naypyitaw [Myanmar]: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Friday said a massive wave of COVID-19 infections currently surging throughout Myanmar is compounding hunger, as families struggle amid job losses, rising food and fuel prices, political unrest, violence and displacement.
“WFP warned that its lifesaving operations in Myanmar are being held back by a major funding shortfall, with over 70 per cent of its funding needs over the coming six months still unmet,” WFP said in a statement. The WFP said it has estimated that the number of people facing hunger could more than double to 6.2 million in the next six months, up from 2.8 million prior to February.
“We have seen hunger spreading further and deeper in Myanmar. Nearly 90 per cent of households living in slum-like settlements around Yangon say they have to borrow money to buy food; incomes have been badly affected for many,” said WFP Myanmar Country Director Stephen Anderson.
“The people of Myanmar are facing their most difficult moment in living memory. It is critically important for us to be able to access to all those in need and receive the funding to provide them with humanitarian assistance,” Anderson explained.
“Now more than ever, the people of Myanmar need our support. We are deeply grateful for the backing of the international community – the people of Myanmar will never forget your generosity and solidarity,” said Anderson.
On February 1, the Myanmar military overthrew the civilian government and declared a year-long state of emergency.
The coup triggered mass protests, which were quashed with deadly violence in the country.
“More than 220,000 people have fled violence since February, and are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. WFP has reached 17,500 newly-displaced people and is working to assist more in August. In total, 1.25 million people in Myanmar have received WFP food, cash and nutrition assistance in 2021 across urban and rural areas,” the statement added.

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