TBC is the main supplier of food, including rice, cooking fuel, fish paste and beans to the camps.

Funding shortfalls in recent years have seen a reduction in the quantity of refugee household rations. In 2013 a Community-Managed Targeting system was introduced in order to allocate rations more precisely according to need.

Under the system refugee committees identify the needs of households according to different criteria and identify them as most vulnerable, vulnerable, standard or self-reliant (the latter category accounted for just 1 percent of households in 2016). The most vulnerable households and those with children under the age of 18 receive extra rations.

Meanwhile, the food assistance programme broke new ground in 2016 when a pilot Food Card System was introduced in sections of Nu Po and Tham Hin camps, overseen by Food Card System Working Group. Following the review of the programme in late 2017, positive feedback and high level of confidence both from its local representatives and the displaced persons communities, TBC introduced the Food Card System programme in two further camps – Ban Don Yang and Ban Nai Soi – in 2018.

The food card programme allows refugees to buy their own food from around 50 participating vendor shops mainly run by refugees, promoting greater choice, decision-making and dignity within households and the communities.

The vendors, many of whom are women, buy fresh produce from refugee gardens and agriculture plots and rice, oil, spices and other items from Thai suppliers.

The system is also familiarising refugees with the digital economy that is fast taking root in Burma/Myanmar along with the rest of the Asia region, and the pilot includes nutrition information to ensure that households are well informed on the right proportions of food-types needed for a nutritious diet.

A short video on the new food card system can be viewed here.

Given the success of the programme in four camps so far, plans are moving ahead to expand the programme to all nine camps.

In 2018, food and charcoal assistance is allocated in the camps as follows: