WFP Announces Cuts in Food Rations for Refugees in East, West Africa Due to Lack of Funds
17:13 GMT 20.06.2022 (Updated: 17:15 GMT 20.06.2022)
© AFP 2022 / AMANUEL SILESHIPeople who fled the war from May Tsemre, Addi Arkay and Zarima gather around in a temporarily built internally displaced people (IDP) camp to receive their first bags of wheat from the World Food Programme (WFP) in Ethiopia, on September 15, 2021.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced on Monday a "heart breaking" decision to reduce food rations for the refugees in some countries in Eastern and Western Africa due to a lack of financing.
"Ration cuts of up to 50 percent are affecting three-quarters of all refugees supported by WFP in Eastern Africa. Refugees living in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda are the most affected," WFP said in a statement.
WFP cites "severe funding constraints" caused by record-level hunger in West Africa in a decade as the primary reason for slashing the rations. Refugees in West African countries, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger in particular, will also suffer from reduced rations. The relief organization claims to be trying to "stretch limited resources," as its budget was not designed to accommodate expenses for Ukrainian refugees.
The outlook seems even more bleak with WFP warning that "further food ration cuts are imminent."
"As global hunger soars way beyond the resources available to feed all the families who desperately need WFP's help, we are being forced to make the heart breaking decision to cut food rations for refugees who rely on us for their survival," WFP Executive Director David Beasley said in a statement.
Beasley stated that if WFP finds no extra funding for refugees, "one of the world's most vulnerable and forgotten groups of people" will be forced into starvation with fatal outcomes possible.
In 2021, WFP assisted 10 million refugees around the world. In East Africa alone, the organization needs $411 million to support refugees over the next six months. For West Africa, the figure is as high as $76.5 million.
On June 14, WFP suspended humanitarian food assistance for people in South Sudan where 60% of the population is facing food insecurity during the lean season due to insufficient financing as well.