UN warns of ‘unconscionable’ cuts to Rohingya food rations as donations fall

World Food Programme calls for urgent $125m injection after being forced into axing supplies into Bangladesh refugee camps by 17%

The UN has been forced to cut food rations for Rohingya refugees by 17% and has warned of “unconscionable” further cuts in April as a result of dwindling international donations.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said it needs $125m (£104m) urgently to avoid the further cuts.

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Sea ‘a graveyard’ as number of Rohingya fleeing Bangladesh by boat soars

UN figures show number of those attempting to escape horrendous conditions in refugee camps increased from 700 in 2021 to over 3,500 in 2022

The number of Rohingya refugees taking dangerous sea journeys in the hope of reaching Malaysia or Indonesia has surged by 360%, the UN has announced after hundreds of refugees were left stranded at the end of last year.

Rohingya in Bangladesh refugee camps have warned that human smugglers have ramped up operations and are constantly searching for people to fill boats from Myanmar and Bangladesh headed for Malaysia, where people believe they can live more freely.

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Back to brown: how a shift away from refined white rice could cut diabetes

The secret to a healthier diet has been around for centuries: a return to unprocessed grain in its natural state. And in Asia, the health benefits could be huge

A plan to develop a new breed of iron-rich rice that could ward off disease was swiftly abandoned by Dr Sirimal Premakumara after he ventured into the countryside of Sri Lanka – and found it already existed.

The secret to injecting more nutrition into the common diet, he discovered, were already there in the varieties of rice the country’s farmers had been growing for centuries.

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World has left Bangladesh to shelter 1m Rohingya refugees alone, says minister

Shahriar Alam criticises international community for doing ‘absolutely nothing’ to press Myanmar’s junta to guarantee a safe return

The world has done “absolutely nothing” to ensure safety in Myanmar for its persecuted Rohingya minority, said Bangladesh’s foreign minister, complaining that his country is sheltering more than 1 million refugees without support.

Foreign minister Shahriar Alam told the Guardian financial support for the Rohingya has decreased each year and there has been no real progress towards repatriation in the five years since more than 700,000 fled massacres by Myanmar’s military. That wave, in August 2017, joined approximately 300,000 people that had already fled Myanmar because of previous security crackdowns.

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‘This is our documentary of the crisis we face’: the Rohingya smartphone photographers

Refugees who have fled Myanmar describe the risks and their sense of duty – as well as joy – in recording life around them in the sprawling camps of Bangladesh

The camera of a budget smartphone has become a way for many of the Rohingya stuck in Bangladesh’s refugee camps to tell their own stories, capturing photos of their lives in the camps, which became the world’s largest when 700,000 people fled the Myanmar military five years ago, joining 300,000 who had already sought refuge across the border.

These photographers, who are all under 30, are building a record of the culture and traditions they fear could be lost so far from home, and have sharpened their skills during floods and fires and other all too frequent moments of crisis.

Zaudha, 40, stares out over the smouldering remains of her home after the largest of the camp fires, in March 2021, when 50,000 lost their homes. The smoke and heat was still too intense for her to go down to the exact spot she lived in.

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Rohingya crisis: plight of Myanmar’s displaced people explained in 30 seconds

One million Rohingya remain in Bangladesh refugee camps and the persecuted group has little hope of returning to Myanmar

It has been five years since Myanmar’s military launched a campaign of massacres that killed about 7,000 Rohingya in a single month and compelled 700,000 to flee for the Bangladeshi border.

Since the first major military operation against the Rohingya minority in 1978, which forced out 200,000, the Rohingya have been collectively stripped of their citizenship and targeted by increasing violence and discrimination that culminated in the “clearance operations” that began on 25 August 2017. Those operations were years in the planning, according to military documents uncovered by the Commission for International Justice and Accountability and sent to the international criminal court.

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‘Abandoned to their fate’: five years of agony for the 700,000 Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh

Myanmar’s crackdown in 2017 forced a vast wave of refugees across the border into already crowded and unsafe camps – the result of decades of international political paralysis

In the 31 years since Anuara Begum’s family moved into their bamboo shelter in the Nayapara refugee camp, the only improvement they could make was replacing its tarpaulin roof with tin sheeting – less flimsy but hammer-loud when the rains come.

Running from Myanmar’s military, their new home was built to be temporary, and so it proved when it took just 30 minutes for a fire last year to incinerate the metal and bamboo structures of a whole block of the camp.

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UK Foreign Office rushed £4.2bn of aid cuts, official audit finds

Support slashed despite warnings about impact, with offices told not to discuss plans with local partners, says National Audit Office report

The British government forced through £4.2bn in aid cuts so quickly it had little time to plan the impact they would have, or consult partners, according to an official audit.

The National Audit Office (NAO) said bilateral spendingaid given directly to another governmentfaced some of the harshest cuts by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) – 53% compared with less than a third of the overall aid budget – because of political and legal commitments to multilateral spending.

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‘Take from the hungry to feed the starving’: UN faces awful dilemma

Agencies forced to cut back aid in Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Ethiopia despite growing need as funds go to Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put huge pressure on an already shrinking pot of international aid.

Aid agencies working in countries with the most pressing emergencies, including Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Ethiopia, are facing difficult decisions on how to spend their money.

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Myanmar junta accused of forcing people to brink of starvation

Advisory group say military has destroyed supplies, killed livestock and cut off roads used to transport food since February coup

Myanmar’s military junta has been accused of forcing people to the brink of starvation with repeated offensives since it seized power in a coup earlier this year.

The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar said the junta had destroyed food supplies and killed livestock while cutting off roads used to bring in food and medicine.

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UN quizzed over role in prison-like island camp for Rohingya refugees

Rights groups raise concerns over deal to provide services on Bhasan Char, as Bangladesh plans to increase camp’s population by 80,000

The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) is facing questions over whether it is helping to detain Rohingya refugees in prison-like conditions by providing services on a controversial island camp.

Over the past year, Bangladesh has relocated almost 20,000 refugees to Bhasan Char, an island formed of silt deposits in the Bay of Bengal thought to be vulnerable to cyclones, which the refugees are unable to leave.

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‘A sample of hell’: Rohingya forced to rebuild camps again after deadly floods

At least 21,000 refugees displaced after heavy rain devastates Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the latest in a series of disasters to hit the area

The process of rebuilding has begun once again for Rohingya refugees living in camps in Bangladesh after a week of heavy rains made thousands homeless.

The chest-high waters that flowed through parts of Cox’s Bazar have exposed the vulnerability of the area’s unplanned settlements, which have to be repeatedly repaired and rebuilt after flooding, cyclones and fires.

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Refugees hit hardest as deadly floods sweep across continents

Death toll rises as storms continue to rip through communities, destroying homes and livelihoods

As heavy rains and floods dominate headlines around the world, displaced people and those living in conflict zones are among the worst affected.

Wind and heavy rain from monsoons and typhoons has bombarded much of Asia. There have also been downpours and flash floods in parts of Latin America and Africa.

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At least six Rohingya refugees killed as floods hit camps in Bangladesh

Shelters swept away as activists say people stuck in Cox’s Bazar are highly vulnerable to the ‘rapidly changing climate’

At least six Rohingya refugees were killed by landslides or drowned in flooding after rain inundated refugee camps in Bangladesh over recent days, deepening the despair among those living there.

Knee-deep waters coursed through the camps, battering fragile shelters made of bamboo and tarpaulin and making at least 5,000 people homeless, according to the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR).

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UK accused of a ‘abandoning’ Rohingya with ‘catastrophic’ 40% aid cut

Children in overcrowded Cox’s Bazar settlement likely to suffer most from reduced humanitarian spending, say campaigners

The government has been accused of abandoning Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh after cutting aid to the humanitarian response by more than 40%.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) pledged £27.6m to the humanitarian sector’s joint response plan launched this week, compared with £47.5m last year.

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