The agencies warned of growing risks including increased malnutrition and anemia, stunted child growth, deterioration of the health status due to susceptibility to diseases/infection and a myriad of protection risks further compounded by the COVID 19 pandemic.
Funding shortages will force ration cuts of up to 60 percent of people’s required daily intake, meaning some 710,000 refugees impacted by the cuts will only receive 1,262 kilocalories per person/day. The cuts, starting in November, will impact all refugees living in camps in Gambella, Afar, Shire, Melkadida, Assosa and Jijiga in Ethiopia.
The ration cuts are a last resort to avert a complete break in food supplies across the country. However, even with this reduction, if WFP doesn’t receive an additional funding it will completely run out of food for refugees by January 2022.
“We are appealing to our donors to quickly come to the aid of the refugees, who solely rely on WFP food and cash transfers for survival,” said Dr. Steven Were Omamo, WFP’s Country Representative and Country Director for Ethiopia.
“Sadly, prolonged ration cuts affect the refugees’ nutrition and health. The immediate priority for us all must be to restore assistance to at least minimum levels for refugees, many of whom lost the lifeline of remittances due to the global impact of COVID-19.” said Dr. Omamo.