NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 24 – The World Food Programme on Friday announced plans to institute further cuts on food rations for refugees in Kenya due to insufficient funding.
The Programme’s Kenya Country Director Lauren Landis said the move is aimed at ensuring that the available resources run until the end of the year.
She said the 440,000 refugees in Kenya supported by WFP will have to make do with only 52 per cent of a full ration, effective October.
“Cutting food assistance to already highly vulnerable families is a heart-breaking decision to have to make – more so with a national drought emergency declared by the government recently. Low funding levels have left WFP no choice – this is the absolute last resort,” the WFP Country Director said.
Landis also warned that they may be forced to halt the assistance all together by the end of 2021 if required resources are not availed, and called upon donors to step up and make new contributions so as to avert the crisis.
The WFP said the agency had been unable to provide a full ration to refugees since 2018, and in October 2020 it was forced to cut rations from 80 to 60 per cent.
WFP is seeking USD40.4 million to restore full food rations to refugees in Dadaab, Kakuma and Kalobeyei settlement over a period of six months.
Of this, USD23.9 million would go directly to the refugees in the form of cash transfers; USD14.3 million would be spent on food predominantly purchased in Kenya; USD1.2 million would provide children under 5 and pregnant or breastfeeding mothers with specialized foods for the treatment and prevention of malnutrition, and USD1 million would feed school children across the camps.
“WFP appreciates that presently, there are extraordinary needs around the world, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and conflicts,” added Ms. Landis. “However, refugees in Kenya are in immediate need of assistance and stability even as Kenya and the international community continue to engage in exploring sustainable solutions for this population,” she said.