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WFP institutes further food ration cuts for refugees in Kenya as funds dry up

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WFP institutes further food ration cuts for refugees in Kenya as funds dry up

Low funding levels left WFP no choice – it is the absolute last resort

NAIROBI, Kenya, September 24, 2021 / APO Group / –

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) further cuts food rations for 440,000 refugees in Kenya, due to severe funding shortfalls, and has warned it may be forced to halt assistance altogether by now the end of the year if new resources are not imminently available. .

From October, refugees will have to make do with just 52 percent of a full ration. This reduction will only allow WFP to expand the remaining food and cash until December 2021, after which food assistance to all refugees will cease altogether if additional funds are not received. WFP has not been able to provide a full ration, which is the daily minimum needed for one person, to refugees since 2018, and in October 2020 was forced to reduce rations from 80 to 60 percent.

“Cutting food aid to already very vulnerable families is a heartbreaking decision to make, especially with a national drought emergency declared recently by the government. The low levels of funding have left WFP no choice – it is the absolute last resort, ”said Lauren Landis, WFP Country Director in Kenya.

WFP is urgently seeking $ 40.4 million to restore full food rations to refugees in Dadaab, Kakuma and Kalobeyei camps over the next six months. Of this amount, $ 23.9 million would go directly to refugees in the form of cash transfers; US $ 14.3 million would be spent on food purchased mainly in Kenya; US $ 1.2 million would provide children under 5 and pregnant and breastfeeding women with specialized foods for the treatment and prevention of malnutrition, and US $ 1 million would feed schoolchildren in the camps.

In addition to providing food assistance, WFP works with the Kenyan government and other partners to provide self-reliance opportunities for refugees, such as establishing vegetable gardens to grow fresh food to supplement rations or sell to generate revenues. With the right tools, refugees improve their own lives and in so doing contribute to local economies. The prevailing drought means that these support mechanisms are at risk of failing, leaving refugees more dependent than ever on food distributions and an increasing number of people at risk of malnutrition.

“WFP is aware that there are currently extraordinary needs in the world, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and conflict,” Ms. Landis added. “However, the refugees in Kenya are in immediate need of assistance and stability as Kenya and the international community continue to engage in exploring durable solutions for this population.”

While urging donors to step up their efforts and make further contributions, WFP would like to thank its partners who have supported refugees, including: Canada, European Union, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) describes the international community’s commitment to address the immediate humanitarian needs of refugees in order to alleviate the burden on Kenya. Additional support is needed to sustain the host government and its goodwill and not to undermine development gains. WFP relies on the continued generosity of donors to provide the necessary resources for adequate and uninterrupted food and nutrition assistance to refugees.

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