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Rice Rations Being Changed for Refugees from Burma/Myanmar in November

By The Border Consortium  •  September 18, 2013

After November, rice rations will be needs-based and community-managed in refugee camps in Thailand

Rice rations are being revised in refugee camps in Thailand following reductions in funding for humanitarian food aid and a transition to needs-based and community-managed humanitarian relief. These changes are being introduced by The Border Consortium (TBC), which provides humanitarian relief and development assistance to refugees and conflict-affected people from Burma/Myanmar.

Changes are being implemented for December rations, which are distributed in late November. As of July 30, there were 129,787 people from Burma/Myanmar living in refugee camps on the border.

TBC is making a transition to providing assistance based on household need. Rations are not being reduced for any children under 18 years of age.

“In order to ensure that the community’s basic needs are met, TBC is continuing to maintain a standard monthly ration while introducing four staged levels of assistance,” said Sally Thompson, Executive Director of TBC. “People who are in need of extra assistance may receive an increase in their rations,” added Thompson.

Households will be categorised by community committees as ‘Most Vulnerable,’ ‘Vulnerable,’ ‘Standard,’ and ‘Self Reliant’. Households categorised as ‘Most Vulnerable’ will receive an increase in rations, ‘Vulnerable’ households will maintain their current level of assistance, ‘Standard’ will see a change in the rice provided for adults, and ‘Self Reliant’ households will no longer receive food assistance for adults over 18 years old. Again, there will be no reductions in rations for any children under 18 years of age, including in ‘Self Reliant’ households.

Please see the background information for specific changes applicable to each category here.

Currently, the Standard Ration of rice is 12 kg per month for adults.* The Standard Ration is being changed to 8, 10, or 12 kg, depending on camp vulnerability/need. Residents also receive yellow split peas, vegetable oil, vitamin and mineral-fortified flour, fishpaste**, iodized salt, and charcoal, none of which are affected by these changes.

No reductions in rations are being made in the camp at Ban Mae Surin, which was devastated by a fire in March of this year. There are also no changes being made in the camp at Ban Don Yang.

“In order to give the community more experience in managing their food supply, TBC is also introducing Community Managed Targeting,” noted Thompson. “This means that the camp community, not TBC, will determine which level of assistance each household qualifies for.”

“It is important to note that, currently, the refugee community, the Royal Thai Government, the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and UNHCR all agree that conditions do not yet exist for an organised return,” Thompson said. Ration changes are not intended to promote an early return to Burma/Myanmar.

TBC is conducting an extensive outreach and communications campaign to communicate directly with those affected by these changes.

TBC and the other NGOs working in the camps offer a variety of income, employment, and skills training programmes in the camps, which can help offset these changes.

For more information or interview requests, contact Mike Bruce, TBC Communications Specialist email: mike@theborderconsortium.org, mobile +66 (0)81 821 9770

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This post is in: Aid and Development, Peace and National Reconciliation, Press Release

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