Providing Hope in the Face of Hunger

Nurul Amin had the perfect life back in Myanmar: he owned land, an animal farm, a fishing boat, and led a happy life with his family. But he lost everything when the Myanmar Army started to target the Rohingya, an ethnic minority group which includes Nurul and his family, killing his community members indiscriminately.

Together with his pregnant wife and five children, Nurul was forced to flee his home to escape, ending up in a refugee settlement near Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. Once there, Nurul started working as a day labourer to support his family. Already struggling to make ends meet, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of work that followed meant the family couldn’t afford to meet their basic food needs alone.

Nurul’s family received simple food items like rice, lentils, and oil from the World Food Programme, but it is not enough food to support them completely. “We are receiving food support regularly, but we are eating the same thing day after day…,” Nurul pointed out.

To help address this need for additional nutrition, World Renew and Canadian Foodgrains Bank, together with a local partner, provided emergency food assistance to Nurul and other refugee families like his. Extra food items such as fresh vegetables, eggs and dried fish improved the family’s daily diet considerably. Nurul expressed his gratitude and hope for a brighter future: “I have received a lot of help and support…I do hope that things will be alright soon, and I can go back to my motherland and live there with dignity and peace.”

Refugee families aren’t the only ones facing hunger in the Cox’s Bazar area. Jorina is a Bangladeshi mother living with her eight daughters near the Rohingya camp. Jorina’s main source of income as a housemaid began disappearing after the establishment of the refugee camp, as people started hiring Rohingya women for household work at a cheaper rate. The influx of people caused other problems for local families like Jorina’s, such as the loss of the forest where they would get firewood to sell, and the increase in prices of daily commodities. In addition to supporting Rohingya refugees, World Renew also helped provide meals for families like Jorina’s. As the only food support they received, it was a much-needed help to the family.

Our original programming with the Rohingya refugees has now ended, since the World Food Programme has set up a working market system in the refugee camp, giving refugees more sustainable access to food. It took nearly three years, but during that

time, World Renew was able to help “fill in the gap” with our own food assistance programming.

Meanwhile, our food assistance work in the region is still continuing. This time, it’s picking up where the previous program left off: improving food security for vulnerable local families who—like Jorina and her daughters—have been affected by the influx of refugees in the region.

When you give on this Canadian Foodgrains Bank Sunday, your gift will be matched up to 4X, providing life-giving food and hope to families in Bangladesh.

To find out more about our work with Canadian Foodgrains Bank, access our church and children’s resources, or watch our “Ending Hunger” video, go to worldrenew.ca/cfgb

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