Refugees in Africa are experiencing “critical” levels of acute malnutrition, the UN’s refugee agency and the World Food Program (WFP) said Monday.
Two million refugees in 10 countries are affected by severe food shortages as international donations fail to keep pace with the number of people fleeing conflict, famine and disaster, WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said.
Since 2011, the number of refugees in Africa has nearly doubled to 5 million but the “humanitarian response is significantly underfunded,” they said in a statement. “This has forced cuts in food assistance for some groups of refugees. The shortages could worsen in coming months without new resources to meet food needs.”
Grandi added: “Refugees are extraordinarily resilient but cuts in food assistance — sometimes as high as 50 percent — are having a devastating impact on the health and nutrition of thousands of families.
“The right to food is a basic human right. We are working with WFP to ensure that no refugee goes to sleep hungry but support has to come quickly.”
The UN said large-scale operations in Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Mauritania, South Sudan and Uganda had seen food rations cut by half.
Nutrition surveys carried out last year showed high levels of acute malnutrition, anemia and stunting, the statement said. At refugee sites in Ethiopia, Chad, Sudan and Djibouti acute malnutrition was “critical” and anemia rates were higher than 40 percent.
More than 75 percent of children who have arrived in camps in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia, from Somalia since January were acutely malnourished, the agencies said.
Source Anadolu Agency