WFP welcomes USAID contribution to restore full rations to refugees in Rwanda

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a US$6.5 million contribution from the US as a move to restore full food rations to DR Congo and Burundian refugees in Rwanda.

A statement made available on Friday to PANA in Kigali said that the contribution brings the total food and nutrition assistance provided by USAID/Food for Peace in Rwanda to US$10 million this year.

It said that funding shortages had forced WFP to trim assistance to 90 percent of refugees in November and December 2017.

A survey conducted in February 2018 showed a deterioration of food security among refugees due to ration reductions, as families with poor and borderline food consumption soared to 20.4 percent – up from 10 percent before reductions.

In addition, a humanitarian agencies' report said that persistent funding challenges saw a further reduction of ration sizes to 75 percent in January 2018.

However, the UN agency noted that despite this situation, refugees identified as particularly vulnerable in all camps have continued to receive full rations of supplementary feeding from WFP through targeted safety net activities.

Those who continued to benefit from full nutrition assistance included pregnant and nursing mothers, children under two years-old and malnourished children under five years-old, as well as school children, people living with HIV and tuberculosis patients under treatment, it said.

Commenting on the new move, WFP Rwanda Representative and Country Director, Jean-Pierre de Margerie said: "We are incredibly thankful for the continuous support we receive from the American people and specifically for this critical contribution.

"Thanks to this generous and timely grant, we will now be able to fully re-instate rations for refugees that we support."

The USAID funding is aimed to empower WFP to buy locally produced maize grain, beans and fortified blended foods for malnourished children, as well as provide cash-based transfers.

It is expected that the new food assistance will enable WFP to meet the immediate needs of 75,000 DR Congo and 55,000 Burundi refugees hosted in six camps in Rwanda over the coming months.

The United States is the largest donor to WFP humanitarian and development programmes in Rwanda, contributing US$16 million in 2017.
-0- PANA TWA/MA 6July2018

06 july 2018 12:27:14

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