WFP to cut food ration to a half for Congolese refugees in Rwanda

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By Robert Mugabe

•       Decision influenced by lack of funding

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has announced that due to a shortage of funds, the WFP operation in Rwanda will need to reduce food rations for 54,000 Congolese refugees by half from 1 September.

“This is a very difficult decision, but we currently do not have sufficient funds to provide the full recommended daily allowance of 2,100 kilocalories to more than 54,000 Congolese refugees in Rwanda”, said Abdoulaye Balde, WFP representative in Rwanda.

The agency is urgently appealing for new contributions to allow it continue providing vital nutritional support for refugees.

The refugees in the three camps in Rwanda rely mainly on food assistance provided by the international community through

WFP, as they are unable to work. Reduced nutritional support could lead to higher malnutrition rates among the refugee population, especially children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.

While the funding shortfall is affecting WFP’s ability to procure all the commodities in its food basket, it is particularly affecting the procurement of Super Cereal, a blend of maize, soy and micronutrients that is used in the programmes designed for HIV patients and malnourished children.

WFP is urgently seeking donors’ support to cover a critical shortfall of 2250 metric tons of assorted commodities valued at

US$3.8 million which is the sum needed to feed 54,000 Congolese refugees until the end of this year.

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