Less food for Africa, warns UN aid agency

Africans face starvation says UN as pressure on aid agencies to get food to conflict zones results in increase costs and conflicts in other parts of the world mean that their funds are increasingly stretched.

Less food for Africa, warns UN aid agency

World Bulletin / News Desk

The difficulty of getting food aid to vulnerable communities in Africa and the demands on aid organizations to also support people in more conflict areas will result in around a million refugees in Africa facing starvation warns the UN World Food programme.

“The main reasons behind this shortage are insecurity and logistical problems” Peter Smurden, Senior Public Official of World Food Programme, told the Anadolu Agency, “For example in Sudan, we could not reach the refugee camp by road, so we had to airdrop the packages, so the cost goes up.”

Smurden said emerging conflicts in many countries, including Iraq and Central African Republic, result in more displaced people and make it nearly impossible to provide sufficient food. Combined with pre-existing refugees, the current funding level is inevitably not enough, he said.

The UN Refugee Agency and World Food Programme said at least $225 million is needed for nutrition support, in a joint press release after the meeting of the two agencies in Geneva on July 1st.

“The food supply is funded by completely volunteer action,” said Smurden, stating that there is no budget allocated by the UN for food supply for refugees. “We are basically asking for everybody's help.”

Across Africa, 2.4 million refugees in 22 countries depend on regular food aid from the World Food Programme.

Currently, a third of those refugees have seen reductions in their rations, UN said.

“We are providing food 365 days of the year,” said Peter Smurden, “and the most affected people are children and women.”

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres warned that a continued 60 per cent reduction in rations would be catastrophic for refugees, especially on children, according to the report.

Supplies have been cut by at least 40 percent in African refugee camps. In Chad, one of the most affected areas, food supplies are decreased by 60 per cent and the children are face to face with starvation, said UN.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Temmuz 2014, 12:55