Funding shortage forces UN agency to trim food rations for Congolese refugees


A shortage of funds has forced the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to halve its food rations for tens of thousands of Congolese refugees in Rwanda beginning on 1 September.

“This is a very difficult decision, but we currently do not have sufficient funds to provide the full recommended daily allowance of 2,100 kilocalories to more than 54,000 Congolese refugees in Rwanda,” said Abdoulaye Balde, WFP representative in Rwanda.

The lack of funds is particularly affecting the procurement of Super Cereal, a blend of maize, soy and micronutrients that is used in the programmes designed for HIV patients and malnourished children, UN News Service reports.

The agency needs the urgent support of donors to cover a critical shortfall of 2,250 tons of assorted commodities valued at $3.8 million, which will enable it to continue to feed the refugees, who live in three camps in Rwanda, until the end of this year.

Reduced nutritional support, warned the agency, could lead to higher malnutrition rates among the refugee population, especially children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.