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Cablegate: No More Free Lunch - World Food Program to Scale Back

R 011456Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6323
INFO SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
USMISSION GENEVA
HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE

UNCLAS LUSAKA 000977


DEPT FOR PRM/AFR MARY LANGE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF ZA AO
SUBJECT: No more free lunch - World Food Program to scale back
feeding programs for Angolans in Zambia

REF: Lusaka 934

1. The Zambia Daily Mail, a government newspaper, reported on 30
September 2008 that the World Food Program (WFP) will "stop feeding
refugees in Zambia." Though erroneous, this story contains a kernel
of truth. EmbOff has learned that WFP and UNHCR have a new feeding
plan for Angolan refugees in Maheba and Mayukwayukwa settlements.
The new plan was put in place after WFP and UNHCR conducted a joint
vulnerability assessment in the two settlements in July 2008.
Through year-end, WFP will gradually wean 5,200 refugees in Meheba
and Mayukwayukwa settlements off food assistance. WFP states they
can provide full rations to remaining 2,300 "vulnerable" Angolans
through 31 December. WFP will need new funding to feed this
population in CY09 (reftel).

2. Comment: While rife with inaccuracies about WFP plans, this
article purports to reflect the statements of Susan Sikaneta, the
Permanent Secretary of the Zambian Ministry of Home Affairs, made
during UNHCR Executive Committee meetings. The article claims
Sikaneta referred to "a protracted refugee situation" and reported
that the Zambian Government (GRZ) would be "compelled to take
desperate measures" to feed refugees. If Sikaneta made these
statements, Post believes they reflect the GRZ's growing
exasperation with refugees who are unwilling to return home.

KOPLOVSKY

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