The World Food Program (WFP) warned on Monday that it will be forced to cut food rations for refugees again.
The multiplication of humanitarian needs around the world and insufficient funds are the main causes of these impending cuts.
The agency has already had to make significant reductions in daily meals for vulnerable people in the Sahel, among other places.
“As hunger in the world soars far beyond the resources available to feed all the families who desperately need WFP’s help, we are forced to make the heartbreaking decision to cut food rations for the refugees who depend on us for their survival“said the executive director of the UN agency, David Beasley.
“If new urgent funds are not obtained to support refugees -one of the most vulnerable and forgotten groups in the world-, many people who are at risk of starvation will have to pay with their lives“WFP Executive Director David Beasley warned.
Children in Fangak County, Jonglei State, eat a meal cooked from sorghum. WFP supplies food rations to food insecure families with sorghum, oil, salt, peas and maize, South Sudan 20 January
The reduction in rations, which can be as much as half, affects three-quarters of the refugees supported by WFP in East Africa. Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda are the most affected.
Despite record levels of hunger in the past ten years, WFP has had to “significantly” reduce rations in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
Resources remain insufficient to meet the most basic needs of refugee households in Southern Africa, even with generous donor support.
“I know Imminent outages are foreseen in Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. release.
© IMF/Brendan Hoffman
Many people in Ukraine depend on food provided by the UN and other agencies.
©FAO/ Giulio Napolitano
Distribution of emergency supplements for livestock in the form of highly nutritious cubes to feed the cattle so that they can continue to provide milk, a source of food and income for the communities of Isiolo, Kenya.
Crippled by funding constraints, WFP has to prioritize assistance to ensure vital food reaches the most vulnerable families first
These painful decisions often leave refugees without help at a time when receiving food assistance could mean life or death, the agency explained.
As the agency is forced to implement ration cuts to stretch its limited resources, UN humanitarian workers and their partners have had to respond to another new emergency: that of the six million refugees resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
In Moldova, the UN agency has already delivered almost 475,000 hot meals to families affected by the conflict, in 31 different locations.
According to the latest figures published by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), 67% of refugees and asylum seekers come from countries that suffered a food insecurity crisis in 2021. This, together with the devastating conflicts and extreme climatic events, is what is affecting the refugees the most.
Although the immediate needs of the refugees remain the main concern of the World Food Programme, they continue to be needed—now more than ever— sustained investments in programs that foster self-reliance of refugee populations. However, growing needs have forced funds to be diverted from vital sustainable development projects that are critical to preventing emergencies from escalating.
Despite all this, the UN agency together with its partners and governments continues to work to build and support livelihood and resilience projects and programs for refugees.
In 2021, WFP assisted almost ten million refugees around the world.