Uganda reduces food rations to refugees
- GERALD BUSINGE
KAMPALA, (CAJ News) – THE United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Government of Uganda have halved the food rations and cash assistance given to refugees in the east African country, owing to the debilitating shortage of funds.
Most affected are the 200 000 refugees that have sought sanctuary in the neighbouring country following the civil strife in South Sudan.
WFP said the low levels of funding, together with a large number of new arrivals fleeing to Uganda from South Sudan since July, has left the refugee response with no choice but to re-prioritize their focus on those refugees in greatest need.
“We have done everything we can to avoid this, but we have been left with no option but to reduce food assistance for many of the refugees in Uganda, in order to stretch available resources and prioritize the most vulnerable new arrivals,” said Mike Sackett, WFP’s acting Country Director for Uganda.
Refugees who arrived in Uganda after July 2015, as well as those who have been identified as particularly vulnerable, such as the elderly, orphans, the chronically ill and those in need of treatment for malnutrition, will continue to receive a full ration.
Refugees receiving full rations are provided with 2 122 calories of food per person per day, in line with the minimum recommended daily allowance, during their first year, decreasing as they become increasingly self-reliant during their time in Uganda. Other refugees receive cash assistance in place of food rations, which also provides them with the opportunity to exercise greater personal choice.
WFP requires approximately US$7 million every month to provide life-saving food assistance to refugees in Uganda. The humanitarian response however requires an additional US$20 million to restore full food rations to refugees for the rest of the year.
The humanitarian response to refugees in Uganda was already severely underfunded before the outbreak of violence in South Sudan.
– CAJ News
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