The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and ARRA, the national agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs, appealed for US$68 million to avoid food ration cuts for over 700,000 refugees in Ethiopia. Funding shortages will force ration cuts of up to 60 percent of the minimum food basket recommended. The agencies warned of growing risks including increased malnutrition and anaemia, stunted child growth, detororiation of the health status due to susceptibility to diseases/infection and a myriad of protection risks further compounded by the COVID 19 pandemic.
A shortage of funds is forcing WFP to cut the size of food baskets from 1,773 kilocalories per person/day (84% of the recommended minimum of 2100kcal/p/d) to 1,262 kilocalories per person/day (60% of the recommended minimum of 2100kcal/p/d) for some 710,000 refugees. The cuts, starting in November, will impact all refugees living in camps in Gambella, Afar, Shire, Melkadida, Assosa and Jijiga in Ethiopia.
The ration cuts are a last resort to avert a complete break in food supplies across the country. However, even with this reduction – if WFP doesn’t receive an additional US$68 million to cover the food needs of refugees for the next six months, it will completely run out of food for refugees by January 2022.
Source: UNHCR, WFP