Urgent Funding Needed To Reverse Food Ration Cuts For Refugees In Tanzania

KIGOMA - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has been forced to reduce food rations for 320,000 refugees in Mtendeli, Nduta and Nyarugusu Camps in northwest Tanzania as a result of funding shortfalls. WFP urgently requires US$23.6 million from now through to December 2017 to be able to continue meeting the food and nutritional needs of refugees in Tanzania.

WFP provides refugees, primarily from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with five food commodities: maize meal, pulses, Super Cereal, vegetable oil and salt. Due to funding shortages, all five commodities were reduced for the August distribution, reaching only 62 percent of the 2,100 required kilocalories which is the recommended daily calorie intake.

Without an immediate response from donors, further ration cuts will be necessary as food stocks are simply running out, said WFP Tanzania Country Representative Michael Dunford. While WFP appreciates the support received so far, we are urgently appealing to donors to quickly come to the aid of the refugees and provide additional funding so that we can return to full rations and avoid any prolonged negative impacts.

Reducing rations result in far-reaching and potentially life-altering consequences for refugees. Cutting the intake of kilocalories and nutritional support can lead to acute malnutrition and increased vulnerability to disease.

In addition to the five food items, WFP also provides hot meals for refugees upon arrival, supplemental rations for pregnant and nursing women and food assistance to hospital in-patients and people living with HIV/AIDS. Hot meals for refugees entering the country and supplementary feeding programmes remain unaffected by the current ration reductions.

Source: World Food Programme