East African countries hit with lack of cash for food

March, 3rd 2021 – The World Food Program (WFP) and the United Nation Refugee Agency, are appealing for 266 million dollars to restore full food rations for more than 3 million refugees in East Africa.

UNHCR’s Regional Bureau Director for the East, Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes, Clementine Nkweta said, “The pandemic has been devastating for everyone, but for refugees even more so. Unless more funds are made available, thousands of refugees including children will not have enough to eat.” 

Among countries hardest hit with lack of cash for food are Rwanda, where refugees are having their food rations, cut by 60 percent and Uganda where the World Food Program has cut its food assistance to 1.27 million refugees by 40 percent. 

In a statement, WFP Regional Director for Eastern Africa, Michael Dunford, said, “We have never had such a terrible funding situation for refugees. We have a 266 million dollar shortfall for the next six months for refugees’ minimum needs.”

He added, “We are deeply concerned that if cuts continue, they will be faced with a very difficult decision: stay in the camps where food and nutrition security is deteriorating or consider risking going back when it is unsafe.”

Other countries affected by severe funding shortages include Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Djibouti and Ethiopia. 

The U.N. agencies warn of growing risks, if food rations are not fully restored.

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