ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
The World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN refugee
agency UNHCR have appealed for 80 million U.S. dollars to
provide food assistance for refugees located in Ethiopia.
The two UN agencies
announced in a joint statement issued on Wednesday that the
amount of food that refugees receive was cut by 20 percent last
year below the 2,100 kilocalories per day required to sustain
the average person.
“UNHCR and WFP are
warning of deeper cuts to the amount of food from April unless
new funding is received in March,” the joint statement said.
contributions, 650,000 refugees in camps in Ethiopia could soon
become even more hungry and may eventually face hunger so severe
that it could put lives at risk,” the statement added.
Ethiopia hosts the
second largest number of refugees in Africa, next to Uganda.
Ethiopia presently hosts more than 900,000 refugees, mainly from
Eritrea, South Sudan, Somalia, and Sudan, according to figures
from the Ethiopian government.
According to the
joint statement, some 650,000 of the total refugees live in
camps across the East African country and depend on assistance
from WFP and UNHCR.
conflict and deprivation in their home countries, refugees
deserve to be protected and supported,” said Samir Wanmali,
WFP’s Acting Country Director in Ethiopia.
The two UN agencies
fear refugee families could adopt harmful survival strategies
and might even try to leave Ethiopia. Particularly at risk are
young children, with risks of becoming stunted if they do not
receive the right amount of nutrient.
in the camps are already high and further ration cuts could have
a devastating effect, said the statement.
show that malnutrition rates among children under five are above
the emergency threshold of 15 percent in nearly half of the 26
refugee camps in Ethiopia.
Conflict and drought
in neighboring countries continues to force people to seek
refuge in Ethiopia, which has a long tradition of hosting
refugees. In 2017, nearly 110,000 refugees have to Ethiopia.