Chittagong Hill Tracts: Food Aid after Rats
Below is an article published by International Herald Tribune:
Tens of thousands of people in Bangladesh's southeastern region are being given food aid after a plague of rats devoured rice crops earlier this year , the United Nations' food agency said Sunday [13 July 2008].
The World Food Program said it had begun distribution of food because many thousands of families in the poor Chittagong Hill Tracts, near the border with India, are struggling to feed themselves.
Each family will receive 50 kilograms of rice, 4 liters of vegetable oil and 4 kilograms of high-energy biscuits enriched with micronutrients, a WFP statement said.
Rats destroyed crops in February and March  after the rodent population swelled from rich feeding off the region's bamboo forests, which blossomed for the first time in decades.
According to local folklore, the flowering of the bamboo comes only every 50 years — and is always accompanied by a surge in the rat population.
The United Nations Development Program said earlier that 150,000 people Bangladesh had been affected by the rat menace.