Kenya refugees face new rations cut

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Refugees at Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya face a 30 per cent cut in their daily ration because of a funding shortfall. Photo: UNHCR/R.Gangale

Funding shortfalls and dwindling supplies have forced the World Food Programme (WFP) to cut rations to refugees in Kenya, it announced Wednesday.

It’s the second time in little over six months that the UN agency has had reduce refugees’ daily food intake to below minimum recommended levels.

About half a million refugees living in two camps in the north of the east African nation are set to be affected.

Daniel Johnson has more.

Starting on Monday, refugees in the Dadaab and Kakuma camps will receive 30 per cent less food than usual.

In a statement the World Food Programme said it had no choice, as its stocks are “running out”.

The agency was forced to take even more drastic measures in November last year, when it had to cut rations by half.

They were restored to 100 per cent shortly afterwards.

Going forward, refugees at both camps will get just 1,520 calories a day, which is well below the recommended minimum daily intake.

WFP said it hoped the measure would be temporary, but it’s expected to be maintained until September at least.

It is also possible that deeper cuts may be necessary in the coming months if no new resources arrive, the agency said.

In the meantime WFP has called for the international community to cover a near US $40 million funding shortfall to take it through to January next year.

The money helps the agency distribute 9,300 metric tonnes of food each month to 500,000 refugees in the camps – most of whom come from Somalia and South Sudan.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 0’55”

Human Rights