Hundreds of thousands of refugees in Kenya will go hungry without urgent aid – UN

17 December 2004

Warning that hundreds of thousands of mainly Sudanese and Somali refugees in Kenya will go hungry without immediate donations of cash or food commodities, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today issued an urgent appeal for $9 million to tide them over for the next six months.

Warning that hundreds of thousands of mainly Sudanese and Somali refugees in Kenya will go hungry without immediate donations of cash or food commodities, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today issued an urgent appeal for $9 million to tide them over for the next six months.

“Less and less food has been reaching refugee families,” WFP Country Director Tesema Negash said. “Instead of 26 kilos of food for two weeks, a family of three now has to make do with 23 kilos. It will get continually worse unless contributions come forward urgently.”

WFP urgently needs the donations to avoid further reductions in food aid for the 224,000 refugees living in Kenya. Food rations were already cut by 12 per cent in November, when the agency ran out of wheat flour, a staple. Other food supplies will start to run out by mid-March, and by April, WFP will have exhausted all available commodities for the refugees.

“Each time we reduce food rations in the camps, we see the level of malnutrition increase and the refugees become more vulnerable to disease. We do not want to see this happen again,” Mr. Negash said.

Refugees in Kenya are mainly from war-torn Sudan and Somalia. By law they are confined to camps in Kakuma and Dadaab, in northern and eastern Kenya, which are areas of chronic poverty. The harsh and impoverished environment around the camps means they are highly unlikely to find jobs or any other means of feeding themselves.

 

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