Amid a funding shortage that has forced the reduction of rations for some 320,000 refugees in north-west Tanzania, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today said that it urgently requires $23.6 million to guarantee the food and nutritional needs through December.
“Without an immediate response from donors, further ration cuts will be necessary as food stocks are simply running out,” said Michael Dunford, WFP Tanzania Country Representative.
Five food commodities – maize meal, pulses, Super Cereal, vegetable oil and salt – are provided by WFP to refugees in Mtendeli, Nduta and Nyarugusu camps, mainly from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
However, food portions were reduced in August due to funding cuts, which might lead to long-term, life-changing consequences, such as acute malnutrition and rising vulnerability to disease.
Meanwhile, the UN agency also has hot meals for refugees upon arrival and supplemental rations for pregnant and nursing women and food assistance to hospital in-patients and people living with HIV/AIDS.
“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,” said Mr. Dunford, stressing that it will be critical to prevent future prolonged negative impacts.