Refugees in Kenya face rations cut due to funding gap
The UN World Food Program (WFP) on Monday announced food ration cuts to over 420,000 refugees living in camps in Northern Kenya due to insufficient funding.
In a statement, the WFP said that the 30 percent food rations cut for the refugees living in the camps will take effect starting this month.
Some 90 percent of the refugees are from neighboring Somalia, with the rest from other East African countries, particularly South Sudan.
Annalisa Conte, the program's top official in Kenya, said: "We are facing a critical shortage of resources which has compelled us to reduce the amount of food given to the refugees only six months after we resumed full rations. WFP urgently needs $28.5 million to adequately cover the food assistance needs for the refugees for the next six months."
WFP has called on partners and international donors to step in and assist in garnering the necessary funds to provide food -- cereals, vegetable oil, pulses, and nutrient-enriched flour -- for the refugees.
WFP added that fortified maize flour will no longer be issued to refugees as it is reserved for pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding, citing the shortage of fortified flour in Kenya as the main reason.
The statement warned that this might lead to more cases of malnutrition.
Conte added: "Cutting rations is a last resort and we hope that it is only a short-term measure as we continue to appeal to the international community to assist. An abrupt halt to food assistance would be devastating for the refugees, most of whom rely fully on WFP for their daily meals."