News / Winnipeg

‘People are highly traumatized,’ Foodgrains Bank puts out appeal for donations

The Foodgrains Bank says it is providing about 60,000 people with emergency rations.

Thousands of Rohingya refugees fleeing from Myanmar cross a small stream in the hot sun on a muddy rice field near Palang Khali, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Well over a half a million Rohingya refugees have fled into Bangladesh since late August during the outbreak of violence in Rakhine state causing a humanitarian crisis in the region with continued challenges for aid agencies.

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images AsiaPac

Thousands of Rohingya refugees fleeing from Myanmar cross a small stream in the hot sun on a muddy rice field near Palang Khali, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Well over a half a million Rohingya refugees have fled into Bangladesh since late August during the outbreak of violence in Rakhine state causing a humanitarian crisis in the region with continued challenges for aid agencies.

A Canadian organization is calling for donations to help address the refugee crisis in Bangladesh.

The South Asian country is now home to the world's largest refugee camp, as more than 900,000 Rohingya and other minorities have fled Myanmar's ethnic genocide, Canada’s International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said.

The Manitoba-based Canadian Foodgrains Bank distributed emergency food this week in Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh, near the border where many Rohingya refugees have fled.

“People are highly traumatized, are not in good health as they come across the border. They don’t have resources they could use to buy food, they’re dependant on assistance during this very difficult time for them,” said Jim Cornelius, the executive director of Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

The Foodgrains Bank says it's providing about 60,000 people with emergency rations of lentils, oil, sugar and salt—and is working with the World Food Programme of the United Nations, which is providing rice to complement the rations.

However, Cornelius says they have a special appeal for resources right now.

“When you’re providing food—food is something that you’ll need next week, that you’ll need next month. It’s not something that you do one time and then you’re finished,” he said.

While partially funded by the federal government, the Foodgrains Bank is still reliant on donations, he said.

“We get support right from Prince Edward Island right to British Columbia, but the Prairie provinces are the heart of our program,” he said, adding that about three-quarters of the organization’s donations are from those provinces.

On Tuesday, the federal government announced it will match all private donations toward the crisis. This includes donations dating back to Aug. 25 and continuing until Nov. 28.

Other places to donate:  
Canadian Red Cross
Unicef Canada
Action Against Hunger
Islamic Relief Canada
Doctors Without Borders

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