World food program (WFP), United Nations refugee agency, UNHCRand the Ethiopian Government Refugee and Repatriation Service (RRS) make a plea for support because without it, WFP would run out of food for refugees by October.
The agencies warn that the impending crisis will put vulnerable families at risk of malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and increased susceptibility to disease.
“Three quarters of a million refugees will be left with nothing to eat in a matter of weeks unless we receive immediate funding,” said Claude Jibidar, WFP Representative and Country Director for Ethiopia.
Cut down on portions
Portion reduction is an issue that WFP has long faced.
Food rations for refugees in Ethiopia first fell by 16% in November 2015, then by 40% in November 2021 and finally by 50% in June 2022.
The impact of these cuts is compounded by global constraints on food availability, widespread economic shocks, and rising food and energy costs. COVID-19 fallout and armed conflict.
The impact of cutting
To understand the impact of rations reductions on refugees, WFP, UNHCR and RRS conducted in April a rapid assessment of 1,215 refugee camp households across the regions involved.
The results show that most have coped with food insecurity by reducing the number of meals a day, consuming less expensive food or limiting meal portions.
The overall assessment also shows that households are using desperate measures to make up for cuts in funding.
Funding cuts have forced refugees to depend on increasingly finite food supplies, which increases the likelihood of resource-based conflicts.
The data shows that many families have relied on children to generate additional income to cover food.
Other households are forced to borrow cash, relying on friends or relatives to make ends meet.
“We are $73 million short of the minimum needs of refugees and we are deeply concerned that if funding cuts continue, they may consider returning to their place of origin,” Mr. Jibidar warned. themselves when they feel unsafe,” warned Mr. Jibidar.
More resources need to be mobilized to meet immediate food needs, and smart investments are needed to prioritize sustainable farming.
“The priority for all of us is to restore at least minimal assistance to refugees, all of whom rely solely on cash and assistance,” said the UN Country Director. WFP food to survive”.
With an immediate donor response, WFP will be able to purchase food that is available in the area to meet the dietary needs of the refugees and also transfer cash to the refugees, providing them with options on how to meet their immediate needs and stimulate the local market.
© UNICEF / Christine Nesbitt
Agencies have established an effective system for identifying refugee food assistance needs through biometric verification, accountability mechanisms, and food and cash assistance programs Monthly.
The trio called on all partners to intensify efforts to address immediate and long-term food needs in line with international commitments.
Meanwhile, WFP, UNHCR, and RRS will continue to rely on donors to support an expanded, shared-responsibility-based fundraiser to carry out basic humanitarian life-saving operations.