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WFP worried about impending food shortage in refugee settlements

FILE PHOTO: WFP refugee food aid

Kampala, Uganda  | THE INDEPENDENT | World Food Programme-WFP is worried about the impending food shortage that is expected in May this year. The UN agency is running out of both food and monetary aid to support refugees in different parts of the country.

WFP supports 1.2 million refugees in Uganda with food and monetary aid. The available food can only last until May, 2020 while the money they give to refugees is expected to be depleted at the end of February, 2020.  Up to USD 16 million Shillings is needed to save the situation.

Addressing journalists at the handover of the food aid from Japan in Kampala on Thursday, the WFP Country Director Elkhidir Daloum said they are in urgent need of food or else they will be forced to start rationing.

According to WFP, each refugee receives food equivalent to 2100 calories a day. Elkhidir Daloum says if these ratios are cut, refugees in the country will not be getting enough food.

Daloum requested all partners to send money as soon as possible to enable early procurement of food.

According to the Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Ministry, there are 1,483,000 million refugees in Uganda. Daloum says that if they run out of food, peace and security in refugee settlements and hosting districts is likely to be tested.

“If we don’t get funds, there will be food insecurity but the lack can also lead to insecurity within settlements but also host communities,”Daloum stressed.

Simon Gerald Menhya, the Commissioner for refugees, said there is need for the international community to step in and provide food for refugees. She noted that while Uganda can host the refugees it cannot feed them.

On Thursday, the UN agency received 4,750 metric tons of rice worth 12 billion Shillings from Japan. Daloum says support from countries like Japan provides great relief for thousands of refugees.

“WFP is happy to receive such contributions. It’s the first of the kind where a country has decided to give support through government. Uganda has made a lot of sacrifice to host refugees and such support makes their work easier,” Daloum said.

The rice will be distributed to Kyaka II, Kyangwali, Nakivale,Oruchinga, Rwamwanja and Rhino camp settlement.

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