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  • Writer's pictureAhtaram Shin

The struggle to feed Rohingya refugees: Funding shortfalls leave families hungrier

Updated: May 3

2024 © Anuwar Sadek

Capturing the impact of humanitarian aid on Rohingya families, this photo shows a month's supply of food rations for a family of two from a WFP distribution center. In 2022, the monthly food allowance was set $12 per person. In 2023, acute funding shortages forced the World Food Programme (WFP) to reduce food assistance from $12 to $10 per person, followed by another reduction to $8—the cost of a single cup of coffee in some countries—, further straining the already difficult conditions for the Rohingya. Despite high malnutrition rates in the camps, this reduction marked a significant challenge. In January 2024, WFP announced a spark of hope: an increase in rations from $8 to $10 per person.

Watch below the video below of Anuwar Salek, where he talks about the photograph of the food rations and his love for macro-photography.

Anuwar Sadek, born in 1994 in Donkhali, Pa Nyoung Pin Gyi, Maungdaw, has been a beacon of hope and education amidst challenging times. Following a disruptive conflict in June 2012 that derailed his university ambitions, Anuwar focused on teaching English and organising examinations at Gothuthaya's middle school from 2014 to 2016.


His passion for photography, especially capturing nature's minute details through macro photography, led him to express, "Through my ideas and knowledge, I aim to develop creativity and critical thinking skills that allow me to write poems, articles, record history, study scientific facts, and analyse politics to restore justice for persecuted people. As a human being, my rights and equality will be seen through my photography."

(Àsara fúl) Cyprus difformis

The 2017 crisis, which displaced many Rohingya including Anuwar, saw him taking refuge in Bangladesh. During this tumultuous journey, he found solace in writing poetry, including "Leaving the Home" and an ode to the Naf River. Settling in Bangladesh, he founded the "Pioneer High School" in a refugee camp and further enhanced his skills as an analytical researcher at Brac University (CPJ).

In 2021, Anuwar established the Donkhali Rohingya Future Star (DRFS) school and led the Champion of Change (CoC) initiative, empowering adolescent boys. In 2022, his dual role as a teacher at the Mercy Refugee House Bangladesh and Life Destination High School highlighted his unwavering commitment to education.

Teaching in DRFS

Since 2023, Anuwar has been deeply immersed in macro photography, driven by his love for nature's tiny details. He remarks, "The most valuable time I spend is on macro photography, capturing interesting objects including nature, wildlife, insects, refugee life, lifestyles of victims, and flowers, as I am very passionate about learning photography." His founding of a school exclusively for female students in Kutupalong Refugee Camp, underscores his dedication to inclusive education.

Anuwar's journey is not just about overcoming adversity; it's a narrative of finding beauty and purpose in life's smallest aspects. His upcoming poetry collection and 'Power of Nature' book are testaments to his multifaceted talents. His story is a powerful reminder of how education, creativity, and a keen eye for the world's intricate wonders can inspire change and hope.

Anuwar is a regular contributor to our blog, read his stories and photo-essays here.


This feature is part of The Rohingya Experience, an exhibition set in St Helier, Island of Jersey during July 2024, developed by Rohingyatographer, a collective of Rohingya refugee photographers in partnership with Jersey Overseas Aid.



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