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UN to cut food rations for refugees in Uganda

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Saturday, December 26, 2020

South Sudanese refugees line up for food in a Ugandan camp in 2016. TB claims such will change next month | Credit | Tim Hinchliffe

Over one million South Sudanese refugees in Uganda are bracing for food shortages as the United Nations World Food Program announces a 40 percent cut in rations.

WFP warned on Tuesday this week that due to a reduction in international funding, it will have to further reduce monthly relief cash and food rations for 1.26 million refugees in Uganda.

Uganda hosts the largest number of refugees of any country in Africa, including thousands who have fled conflicts in the Congo, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Burundi.

There are about 1.4 million refugees in Uganda and about 1 million of them are South Sudanese refugees, according to the United Nations refugee agency—UNHCR.

With effect from February 2021, refugees would receive only 60 percent of a full ration.

This is because the WFP says it has only secured half of the money it needs to support them.

If effected, it would be the second cut in Uganda since April this year.

Activists warn that the food cuts are set to further complicate the lives of hundreds of refugees whose small businesses have been paralyzed by the coronavirus pandemic.

WFP spokesperson, Tomson Phiri said the organization immediately needs another 95.8 million US dollars to avoid cutting food rations.

“We appreciate that donors fully funded our refugee operation in Uganda in 2019 but right now we are unable to keep up even basic food assistance and the poorest will suffer the most as we have to cut still further,” said El-Khidir Daloum, WFP Country Director in Uganda.

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organization and the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

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