UN World Food Programme warns of unprecedented hunger in Uganda
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today warned that unless donors came forward with urgent contributions, the victims of fighting in northern Uganda will soon face severe food shortages and unprecedented hunger.
WFP is seeking 18,000 tonnes of food for over half a million people, including many displaced persons or refugees fleeing the prevailing insecurity, until the end of the year.
The sharp increase in fighting since June has caused almost daily raids on displacement camps and refugee settlements. According to WFP, the attacks usually involve a brutal mix of abductions, executions and the widespread destruction of property, leaving thousands of people homeless and destroying belongings and crops across the region.
“People in Northern Uganda are already suffering horribly as a result of the fighting, and the destruction of their crops is having a terrible effect on their nutritional condition,” said Ken Davies, WFP’s Country Director for Uganda. “All the stocks from the previous harvest have been exhausted, and no additional food production is expected during the following year.”
WFP, which is the only humanitarian agency with access to camps and settlements beyond the two main towns in the region, does not have the necessary resources to continue providing all the urgently needed assistance.
The agency says it has already been forced to reduce food rations being distributed in Gulu district by 30 per cent and warns that if the funding situation does not improve, further cuts are envisaged in other areas next month, resulting in complete lack of food security for the vulnerable people of the affected region.