UN agencies seek $186 mn to help refugees in Africa

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United Nations
Nairobi, July 2: Two UN agencies on Tuesday appealed for 186 million dollars to help over 800,000 refugees in Africa hit by food shortages.

In a joint statement, World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said refugees hit by the food shortages are struggling to cope, posing a host of additional problems as they resort to what the report calls "negative coping strategies", Xinhua reported.

The two agencies have been forced to cut food rations for nearly 800,000 refugees in Africa due to funding difficulties, security and logistical problems.

They said it is threatening to worsen already unacceptable levels of acute malnutrition, stunting and anaemia, particularly in children.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said the funds will allow WFP to restore full rations and prevent further reductions elsewhere through December.

Some 2.4 million refugees in some 200 sites in 22 African countries depend on regular food aid from the WFP and a third of them have seen reductions in their rations, with refugees in Chad facing cuts as high as 60 percent.

In addition to urging donor governments to fully fund the refugee food pipeline, WFP and UNHCR are also encouraging African governments to provide refugees with agricultural plots, grazing land, working rights and access to local markets to promote greater self-sufficiency among refugees.

IANS

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