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UN: Refugee Rations In Rwanda Dwindle


UN Agency Appeals For Aid To Avoid Cutting Refugee Rations In Rwanda

Food rations for 50,000 refugees in Rwanda will be cut by nearly one-third next month unless donors provide another $2.6 million, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today.

Refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi, fleeing unrest and violence, have been pouring into Rwanda over the past year.

“WFP has done all it can to help the newly arrived refugees. Today we are providing food assistance to 50,000 refugees, 15,000 more than the number we originally targeted,” WFP’s Alix Loriston said. “But without new contributions from the international community, we will no longer be able to provide a complete food ration, putting the health and morale of these refugees in danger.”

Refugees in the six camps and centres in Rwanda are forbidden to look for jobs and because of “the closed, secluded nature of the camps,” they cannot farm or undertake other income-generating activities, WFP said.

Meanwhile, the number of malnourished Rwandan children and pregnant and lactating women who must go to supplementary and therapeutic feeding centres has jumped because of cuts in cereal rations last month as poor rainfall affected crops, especially in Kibungo, Umutara, Bugesera and Gikongoro provinces, it said.

WFP said it feeds 309,000 people in Rwanda, including school children and people infected with HIV.

The donors to the Rwanda programme last year were the United States, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Belgium and Finland.

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