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WFP concerns over high malnutrition rates among Rohingyas

COX'S BAZAR, Nov 14, 2017 (BSS) - The United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) expressed concern over high malnutrition rates among Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar.

"A broader effort is needed because clean water, toilets and health facilities are as vital as food in tackling malnutrition," WFP said in a statement, adding that a new survey shows the malnutrition rates in Kutupalong camp are alarming.

"The preliminary findings indicate that one in four Rohingya children are suffering from malnutrition, a higher rate than anticipated," it also said.

The survey was conducted by UNICEF, Action Contre la Faim, Save the Children, UNHCR and WFP.

Other assessments taking place in November which will provide a clearer picture of the nutrition situation for the new arrivals: two nutrition assessments at additional sites near Cox's Bazar and a WFP household food security assessment with nutrition indicators.

The findings will update the projected number of children expected to suffer severe acute malnutrition over the next few months and guide the wider emergency response.

It said WFP is currently providing nutritional support by distributing Super Cereal Plus to more than 68,000 pregnant women and mothers of young children. Super Cereal Plus is a fortified mix that makes a nutritious porridge.

The statement said the UN organisation has to date provided rice, lentils and oil to around 680,000 people.

"WFP wants to ensure food security and a decent living for both local communities and new arrivals, so we must look to create opportunities from which both can benefit," it said.

It added: "WFP urgently needs US$55 million to support one million people in the Cox's Bazar region of Bangladesh, including the new arrivals and people who were already living in camps near the border and host communities."