Saturday, 31 October 2020

Maungdaw, Arakan State: The World Food Program (WFP) distributed rice to primary students in Maungdaw Township, in Arakan State, on December 1, said a local school teacher.

Rice was distributed to 27 primary schools of Nasaka area No.4 and 5 of Maungdaw Township by WFP. It is to provide rice to about 40,000 students.

The WFP provided 10 kgs of rice per student. Some of the students got the rice on December 1, and some received it yesterday. The rice is distributed from a rice storehouse in Bawli Bazaar of Maungdaw Township. WFP members along with teachers distributed the rice. They also provided a book to each student to record their distribution.

In the open market, a 50 kg bag of local rice is sold at Kyat 12,000 while a bag from WFP costs Kyat 13,000 given its good quality. A kg of local rice is being sold at Kyat 250 in the market, said a rice trader.

“It is a great help for us to send our children to school. Some parents are forced to withdraw their boys and girls from school because of financial crisis,” a parent of a student said.

“There was an era when we never had food scarcity. Now the ruling military junta has pushed us into poverty and a famine like situation,” said a local elder preferring not to be named.

Earlier, in February, this year, the WFP provided financial support to 60 families, which grew ladies finger in their villages in Maungdaw Township. On November 16, it had provided rice to 1,500 poor villagers and widows in Maungdaw Township.

With help from WFP, some of the poor parents are able to send their children to school, because they face acute financial crisis. They have no jobs, and strict restriction in movement has been imposed on them. The number of students has increased in the local primary school because of WFP’s support. But, the quality of education is poor because there are few schoolteachers, said a former schoolteacher.