WFP cuts food rations for over 440,000 refugees in Kenya

WFP cuts food rations for over 440,000 refugees in Kenya
A logo of the World Food Programme humanitarian organization is seen on a plane at the National Airport Minsk, Belarus April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

The United Nations World Food Programme is cutting food rations for 440,000 refugees in Kenya, due to severe funding shortfalls.

In a statement, WFP warned that it may be forced to halt assistance altogether by the end of the year if new resources are not available imminently.

WFP Kenya Country Director Lauren Landis said they are urgently seeking 4.5 billion shillings to restore full food rations to refugees in Dadaab, Kakuma and Kalobeyei settlement over the next six months.

“Cutting food assistance to already highly vulnerable families is a heart-breaking decision to have to make – more so with a national drought emergency declared by the government recently. Low funding levels have left WFP no choice – this is the absolute last resort,” said WFP Kenya Country Director Lauren Landis.

“WFP appreciates that presently, there are extraordinary needs around the world, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and conflicts. However, refugees in Kenya are in immediate need of assistance and stability even as Kenya and the international community continue to engage in exploring sustainable solutions for this population,” she added.

WFP added that refugees will have to make do with only 52 percent of a full ration effective this month, in order to stretch the remaining food and cash until December 2021, after which food assistance will stop if further funds are not received.

WFP has not been able to provide a full ration to refugees since 2018, and was forced to cut rations from 80 to 60 percent in October 2020.

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