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KAMPALA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced that new contributions from the United States and Australia will enable the agency to resume distribution of full-size food rations to all refugees in Uganda.
WFP welcomed the contributions of US$15.4 million from the United States and US$2.3 million from Australia. The generous funding from both nations will support refugees, and the US gift will also support extremely food insecure households in Karamoja by helping to fill their food gap between April and July.
“These generous contributions have come at a critical time, and will allow WFP to support nearly 460,000 people – both Ugandans and refugees – with life-saving assistance for three to four months,” said WFP Country Representative, Alice Martin-Daihirou.
Martin-Daihirou added that WFP still requires additional funding in order to continue providing full rations to all refugees through the end of the year. WFP needs US$7.6 million per month to provide basic food and nutrition support to refugees.
WFP currently assists 303,000 refugees in Uganda, playing a key role as part of a coordinated effort under the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The influx of people fleeing the conflict in South Sudan over the last 14 months has tripled WFP’s funding requirements to meet refugees’ basic food and nutrition needs, and numbers are projected to grow to 383,000 by December.
In January, a lack of funding forced WFP to cut food rations for 146,000 refugees who had arrived in Uganda before July 2013. The ration cuts – a last-resort measure – have not affected the new South Sudanese refugees arriving in Uganda since fighting broke out in their country in mid-December 2013.
With the new contributions, WFP will also be able to provide a market opportunity for small-scale farmer groups by supporting local food purchases.
Under a government system, refugees are allocated plots of land to build a shelter and grow food. However, they need external assistance – including WFP food and nutrition support – until they are able to adequately provide for themselves through agriculture and other livelihood activities. This can take up to five years.
Since 2014, for all its programmes in Uganda, WFP has received support from (in alphabetical order) Australia, the European Commission, France, Ireland, Japan, the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the United Kingdom, the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund and the United States.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.
Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media @wfp_africa @lydiawamala
For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Lydia Wamala, WFP/Kampala, Tel. (office) +256 312 242 000 or (cell) +256 758 778 037