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Official statements announcing key developments in WFP operations and activities.
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642361
07/18/2014 - 09:16

“The Japanese government has always placed humanitarian issues, such as refugee issues or poverty reduction, at the centre of its attention,” said Ambassador Suzuki, Japan’s Ambassador to Ethiopia. “We understand that our support to WFP at this point is very crucial as thousands of refugees are crossing the border. In order to address humanitarian issues in Ethiopia, Japan has contributed US$13.1 million to WFP and other agencies in 2014.”

Japan’s contribution of US$4.2 million has been used to purchase a month’s worth of wheat and two months’ worth of vegetable oil for more than 315,000 refugees.  

“This help from Japan comes at a time when we need to step up our efforts as Ethiopia hosts the largest number of South Sudanese refugees in the region,” said Abdou Dieng, WFP’s Representative and Country Director in Ethiopia, who accompanied the Ambassador to Gambela.  “We are extremely grateful for the generous contribution from Japan.”

In Ethiopia, WFP works closely with the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR and the government to assist roughly 580,000 refugees from Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan.  WFP Ethiopia still needs more  than US$42 million until the end of the year to support the refugee operation, including the 170,000 South Sudanese who have sought shelter here since December 2013.

At the border points in Gambela, WFP is distributing calorie-packed High Energy Biscuits for asylum-seekers who have walked for days to reach safety. Having settled in the camps, WFP provides the refugees with a monthly general food ration consisting of cereals, rice, fortified blended food, pulses, vegetable oil, sugar and iodised salt, for their daily nutritional requirements.

The Japanese government is an important donor in Ethiopia, having contributed US$19.2 million to WFP’s refugee operation alone since 2013. Besides refugee assistance, Japan’s generous support has also been critical for WFP’s relief operation in the country as well as MERET (Managing Environmental Resources to Enable Transition) and PSNP (Productive Safety Net Programme). Japan has contributed a total of US$79 million to WFP in Ethiopia since 2008.

In addition to supporting WFP, the Japanese government has also contributed to other UN agencies in Ethiopia, including UNFPA, UNICEF, UNHCR, IOM, FAO and WHO, amounting to a total of US$8.8 million in 2014.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @WFP_Ethiopia

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Stephanie Savariaud – WFP/Addis Ababa, Mob.: +251 911 201976
Melese Awoke – WFP/Addis Ababa, Mob.: +251 911 201981

 

ADDIS ABABA – The Japanese Ambassador to Ethiopia, H.E. Mr. Kazuhiro Suzuki, visited refugee camps in Gambela yesterday (Thursday 17 July) to see how the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is providing critically-needed food assistance to South Sudanese refugees, thanks to Japan’s contribution of US$4.2 million.

642358
07/17/2014 - 14:29
Responding to Emergencies

WFP is distributing emergency food vouchers in areas where shops are functioning as an innovative solution for food assistance at a time when banks in the Gaza Strip are closed and household incomes are at risk. It also transported food including wheat flour, bread and canned tuna from its warehouses ready for distributions to 85,000 people in the next days as security conditions permit.

“The food needs in Gaza are urgent. We are seeing the effectiveness of WFP’s food assistance programmes, which provides the opportunity for a rapid response and flexibility to scale-up emergency food assistance if the need arises,” says WFP Country Director Pablo Recalde.

Recalde was taking part in an inter-agency mission taking advantage of the pause in fighting to assess emergency needs.

Since the onset of the latest conflict, WFP has remained operational with distributions of food to hospitals and families hosting displaced relatives. WFP has provided emergency food rations and food vouchers to more than 20,000 displaced people and has food stocks in position for emergency distributions to newly-displaced families, as needs arise.

WFP provides food assistance to more than 600,000 of the most vulnerable people in Palestine; 285,000 in Gaza and 318,800 in the West Bank. Together, WFP and UNRWA provide food assistance to approximately 67 percent of the total population of the Gaza Strip.

To continue its food assistance programmes in Palestine, WFP, which is funded by voluntary contributions, needs an immediate US$20 million until the end of the year. Meeting the needs as a result of the emergency in Gaza will require additional resources.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.     

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_mena

For more information please contact (email address:firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Colin Kampschoer, WFP/Jerusalem, Tel. +972 25401340, Mob. +972 546773136
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Erbil, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2600, Mob. +201066634352
Shaimaa Fayed, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 25281730/4
Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 473 4570  
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1 646 5566909, Mob. +1 646 8241112

 

GAZA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has taken advantage of a five-hour humanitarian truce to provide emergency food assistance to thousands of people affected by the escalation in violence and to move food stocks into position around the Gaza Strip.

642342
07/16/2014 - 13:56

As part of our ongoing response to the Syria crisis, we and other heads of agencies and partner NGOs are working on how best to implement the resolution, as a matter of urgency.

WFP teams on the ground are proceeding immediately to put in place the monitoring mechanism mandated in the resolution. UNICEF has already positioned supplies ready for the first cross-border convoys supported by the new resolution, including blankets, water purification materials, hygiene kits and syringes.

Hungry, homeless children don’t know or care whether they are in a government-controlled area or an opposition controlled area. They just want food and a safe place to live. Inside Syria, nearly 11 million people need immediate humanitarian aid. We must do everything we can to help them, bringing aid by the most direct routes, whether they are across borders or across conflict lines, and this resolution will help us to achieve that.

While this resolution addresses one challenge, many others remain. Large parts of Syria are a warzone so the conditions are very difficult for aid delivery. There are onerous administrative procedures before convoys are allowed to travel from one place to another. It costs an enormous amount of money to get aid to so many people, and raising funds is difficult.

We reiterate the calls of the Secretary-General and the UN community for all parties to the conflict and those with influence over them to enable unconditional humanitarian access to all people in need without discrimination, using all available routes.

Valerie Amos

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

Ertharin Cousin

Executive Director, World Food Programme

Anthony Lake

Executive Director, UNICEF

 

For more information:

Clare Doyle, OCHA New York. Tel: +1-212-963-5009, Cell: +1-646-288-6331, doylecm@un.org

Marixie Mercado, UNICEF New York. Tel: +1-212-326-7133, Cell: +1-917-213-5188, mmercado@unicef.org

Bettina Luescher, WFP New York. Tel: +1-646-556-6909, Cell: +1-646-824-1112, bettina.luescher@wfp.org

NEW YORK/ ROME, 16 July, 2014 – We welcome Security Council Resolution 2165 on humanitarian access in Syria, which should enable us to reach up to 2.9 million more people with vital aid. This resolution represents a breakthrough in our efforts to get aid to Syrians in need.

642326
07/16/2014 - 09:19
ED - E.Cousin

The B20 Australia Summit will bring together business leaders from across G20 member countries to focus on developing a set of clear, actionable recommendations that drive global economic growth and create jobs. They will be delivered to the G20 Presidency for consideration at G20 Leaders' Summit to be held in Brisbane, Australia in November.

On Friday, Cousin will be a panellist on “The impact of G20 growth on food security.”  As the head of the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger, Cousin will provide insight into the impact of food insecurity on the world’s most vulnerable people. She will outline how WFP is working with public and private partners to link public safety nets to economic opportunity.

Cousin’s Australian agenda also includes meetings with business leaders to explore partnership opportunities. Australian businesses lead in the Asia-Pacific region, where WFP has many programmes aimed at achieving zero hunger.

The private sector’s specialized knowledge and expertise can help WFP assist hungry people more quickly and efficiently and through its networks reach new audiences to raise awareness and funds. On average, over the past 5 years, WFP’s private partners have ranked as WFP’s ninth largest donor, with cash and in-kind contributions totalling US$84.4 million in 2013 alone.

This is Cousin’s fourth visit to Australia since becoming WFP Executive Director in 2012.  As one of WFP’s strongest advocates, the Government of Australia has consistently been among WFP’s top 10 donors, playing a critical role in the Asia-Pacific region. As Asia undergoes substantial and dynamic economic and social changes, the Australian government’s commitment to the region, and regional stability and security is reflected in its partnership with WFP’s programmes.

To date in 2014, Australia has contributed over US$20.5 million to WFP programmes in Asia such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Lao PDR and DPR of Korea.

For B20 media registration: https://b20.centiumsoftware.com/ei/cm.esp?id=7&start=eiscript&cd=39427&p...

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3854, Mob. +39 347 9450634
Monica Salvitti – Communications Consultant, Sydney, Tel. + 61 400 406 886. Email: Monica.salvitti@gmail.com

 

SYDNEY – United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin will make a two-day visit to Australia this week to participate in the Business 20 Australia (B20) Summit in Sydney on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 July.

642300
07/15/2014 - 12:45

Around five million people were found to be severely food insecure, suffering from levels of hunger where external food assistance is generally required and the prevalence of chronic malnutrition among children under the age of five is beyond the international benchmark of “critical.”  The Comprehensive Food Security Survey, which is usually held every two years, also shows that Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates in Yemen are serious across most of the country and at emergency levels in some areas. The survey is carried out with the support of Yemen’s Central Statistical Office and funding from the United States government.
 
Levels of food insecurity across the country showed a slight decline from 45 percent to 41 percent, since the last similar survey in 2011, but there were huge variations among different governorates. In the northern governorate of Sa’ada, almost 70 percent of people were food-insecure, compared with fewer than 10 percent in Al Mahra in the east. Rural areas are worst affected.
 
Similar disparities are evident in malnutrition rates in different parts of the country, with Global Acute Malnutrition rates ranging from critical, denoting an emergency, in the western coastal governorates of Taiz, Hodeidah and Hajja, to serious or poor in almost all other governorates.
 
“I am saddened by these continuing high rates. WFP’s new operation, which will feed six million people, aims to address the problem,” said WFP Yemen Country Director Bishow Parajuli. “We are now focusing more on building sustainable livelihoods and resilience, so that people are able to help themselves.”
 
Parajuli added that food insecurity had an impact on the country’s stability: “For the political process to succeed, people need to be able to live normal lives and not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from,” he said.
 
Twelve governorates have critical levels of stunting, a condition caused by chronic malnutrition, where children fail to grow properly over time and never reach their physical and mental potential. Worst-affected is the governorate of Al Mahweet, west of Sana’a, where more than 60 percent of children are stunted, or short for their age. Seven governorates have serious levels (between 30 and 39.9 percent) and two are classified as poor (20-29.9 percent).
 
“Children remain the most vulnerable in terms of food insecurity and malnutrition in Yemen,” said Jeremy Hopkins, Acting UNICEF Representative in Yemen. Of the estimated 4.5 million children under the age of five, more than 2 in 5 are stunted while almost 13 percent are acutely malnourished.”
 
There is an urgent need for an integrated response in addressing malnutrition.  “UNICEF will continue to partner with WFP in ensuring a coordinated response to address severe and moderate acute malnutrition, especially in areas of greatest need,” Hopkins emphasized.
 
There was some improvement in food security and a decrease in hunger levels in Ibb, Sana’a, Mareb and Rayma but a severe deterioration in the central governorate of Shabwa, from nearly 38 percent food insecure in 2011 to more than 57 percent in 2014.
 
The data was gathered from all 22 of Yemen’s governorates, based on more than 10,500 household interviews and measurements taken from some 14,000 women and 13,500 children.
 
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About WFP: WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.     

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media  & @WFP_MENA
 
About UNICEF: UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
 
For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org)
robin.lodge@wfp.org WFP/Yemen, Tel.+967 214100 ext 2111, Mob. +967 738611778
fares.khoailed@wfp.org WFP/Yemen, Mob. +967 734163556
Alison Parker aparker@unicef.org

 

SANA’A – Preliminary findings of a new survey by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) show that while food security has improved in some areas, over 10 million Yemenis – more than 40 percent of the population – don’t know where their next meal will come from.

642261
07/11/2014 - 09:47
Responding to Emergencies

It is the first time that WFP has operated in locations so close to the border with Nigeria, where the security situation is volatile.

Leaving behind burned homes and often running for their lives, close to 8,000 Nigerians have fled since May into the remote northernmost region of Cameroon from the northern Nigerian states of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno, from where 200 Nigerian school girls were kidnapped in April. Local communities have provided food and shelter to the refugees, but food stocks are running low and many newcomers are already undernourished.
 
“Local communities have helped as much as they can but these refugees are in dire need of food and other assistance. We have found worrying levels of malnutrition, especially among children. Addressing this is a priority for WFP and our humanitarian partners,” said Jacques Roy, WFP’s representative in Cameroon.

WFP began providing assistance to this new wave of Nigerian refugees in June, reaching nearly 7,500 in a first round of food distributions. A nutrition assessment at the end of June found alarming levels of malnutrition among newly-arrived children. In one village in the Waza district, acute malnutrition rates were as high as 25 percent, well above the 15 percent emergency threshold.  

WFP has also provided local health clinics with new stocks of special nutritional products to help curb malnutrition and is planning to distribute these foods also to all children under five and to all pregnant and nursing mothers among the refugees to prevent malnutrition.
Even before the latest influx, Cameroon was already hosting refugees from Nigeria in the main Minawao camp and in communities.

According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, some 650,000 people have been displaced in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno, where attacks by armed groups are happening most frequently and where the greatest numbers of people are fleeing their homes.

Amid fears that more families may flow into Cameroon, WFP and its humanitarian partners in Cameroon are planning for an operation to assist as many as 50,000 by the end of the year.
 
At the same time, humanitarian organizations in Cameroon are dealing with a significant refugee emergency in the East. Conflict in the Central African Republic has driven 107,000 people into Cameroon’s eastern regions. The number is expected to reach 180,000 by the end of the year.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Fabienne Pompey, WFP/Dakar, Mob. +221 77 637 59 64
Martin Penner, WFP/Yaounde, Mob. +237 90986818
Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 473 4570

 

YAOUNDE – As violence in northeastern Nigeria causes massive displacement, thousands of families have fled across the border into Cameroon where the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is providing humanitarian assistance despite insecurity and logistical challenges.

642247
07/10/2014 - 14:34

A ceremony was held at Dar es Salaam port today to mark the contribution which will be used to purchase beans from local producers, fortified vegetable oil and fortified corn soya blend known as Super Cereal and Super Cereal Plus. These Super Cereals make a highly nutritious porridge which is particularly important for mothers and young children who are vulnerable to undernutrition and its lasting effects. The ceremony was officiated by the Hon. Mathias Chikawe (MP), Tanzanian Minister for Home Affairs.

“This donation is a crucial step towards meeting the nutrition needs of these refugees who are dependent on WFP food,” said WFP Tanzania Country Representative Richard Ragan. “With this money, WFP can purchase food to feed some 14,000 children under five years of age, 3,000 pregnant and nursing women, and around 1,800 patients receiving medical care.”

Japan is a strong supporter of WFP, having donated US$14 million towards refugee operations in Tanzania over the last 10 years. The ceremony was attended by H. E. Mr. Masaki Okada, Ambassador of Japan to Tanzania.

“The Government of Japan has been supporting the development of Tanzania and other countries in the region for many years, including the refugee populations,” said the Ambassador. “As a response to the appeal by WFP, the Japanese government gave this contribution to implement the refugee programme in Tanzania. The government’s response reflects shared concerns amongst the people of Japan about the impact of conflicts.”  

 Japan’s contribution will also help to boost the local economy. Under WFP’s Purchase for Progress initiative, which supports smallholder farmers by connecting them to agricultural markets, the beans will be purchased locally.

For more information please contact:
Fizza.Moloo@wfp.org +255 784720022

 

DAR ES SALAAM – The Japanese government has contributed US$1.4 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide food assistance to some 70,000 refugees in north-western Tanzania.

642221
07/09/2014 - 15:29

Madrid, 8 July 2014. The Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations Ertharin Cousin and the ministers of Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria, Public Works, Ana Pastor, Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, and the Secretary General for International Development Cooperation Gonzalo Robles, officially inaugurated today the Humanitarian Logistics Hub of the World Food Progamme (WFP) at the Port of Las Palmas.
The inauguration was attended by a wide group of African ambassadors in Spain.
The logistics hub, funded by Spain, seeks to provide immediate response to any humanitarian emergency, particularly those happening in Africa.
Prior to inaugurating the facilities, the authorities signed the Administrative Agreement linking the logistics hub at Las Palmas to the network of United Nations Humanitarian Response Depots (UNHRD).

The network, managed by the WFP, comprises another five hubs in Dubai, Italy, Ghana, Malaysia and Panama. With Las Palmas, the network will be able to assist populations affected by humanitarian crises anywhere in the world in a maximum of 48 hours.

SPANISH COOPERATION FOR AFRICA

In 2008 the Spanish Cooperation and the World Food Programme started negotiations to make Spain one of the hubs for strategic logistics support and therefore improve the efficiency of operations, particularly in West Africa, but also in support to Central Africa.

After this inauguration in Las Palmas the WFP will be able to operate from Spain on food aid with transport and conditioning of food products, and on emergency aid with non-food items: emergency logistics, medical, hygiene and shelter supplies in case of sudden emergencies.

UNHRD, A GLOBAL NETWORK OF HUMANITARIAN AID
 WFP manages the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot network that comprises other five humanitarian hubs around the world, all of them in geo-strategic locations that allow for an immediate response to any crisis, anywhere, in less than 48 hours.
UNHRD logistic hubs stock mainly emergency materials including hygienic and sanitary kits, tents, mobile offices, blankets and up to 1,500 additional references, needed to respond to the most vulnerable populations in crises situations.
The UNHRD network is mandated by a United Nations resolution and it is an inter-agency tool servicing all United Nations agencies, NGOs and governments that adhere to the system through a technical agreement.

A WELL CONNECTED LOGISTICS HUB

The hub has two warehouses at the Port of La Luz (Las Palmas) with 1,300 square meters of indoor surface and 5.200 square metres outdoors, a space prepared to store medicines and an office from which to coordinate aid operations.
The selection of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria by the WFP for the second European location of its logistics hub reflects a strategic choice to have a regional logistics hub with maximized capacity, efficiency and connectivity with the main African ports, with the firm target of responding more quickly to the humanitarian needs in that continent.

 

The logistics hub of the World Food Program (WFP) at the Port of La Luz in Las Palmas, is part of the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot network (UNHRD), a network for global aid that can respond to any humanitarian crisis around the world in less than 48 hours. The Spanish Cooperation has funded the creation of this logistics hub to respond primarily to populations affected by humanitarian crises in West Africa.

642200
07/08/2014 - 14:43

Across the country, an integrated Rapid Response Mechanism is in place so that teams of emergency workers and supplies can fly into remote areas to provide urgent humanitarian aid to people who have had little or no access to humanitarian assistance. The situation is most dire in the three conflict-affected states of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile where data indicates as much as 60 to 75 percent of the population is severely food-insecure.  

An estimated 235,000 children under the age of 5 will require treatment for severe acute malnutrition this year; twice as many as last year. Furthermore, some 675,000 children will require treatment for moderate severe acute malnutrition.  So far, due to the challenging conditions, the humanitarian community has only been able to reach about 10 per cent of these children with the required treatment.

“Many people driven from their homes have to walk for days with nothing to eat before they reach towns like the state capital of Bentiu in the hope of finding assistance. Some of them, particularly children, arrive so badly malnourished there is nothing that can be done to save them,” said Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF Representative in South Sudan. “We must reach the remote populations with essential supplies and services to spare them that perilous journey. The Rapid Response Mechanism gives us the flexibility to focus on the people, especially the children, who need our assistance most.”

Teams deployed to remote locations register people and supply life-saving food assistance, usually via air-drops and airlifts. The teams treat children suffering from malnutrition, provide water, sanitation and hygiene supplies and services, identify children who have become separated from their families and provide basic education services where possible. Furthermore, specialty nutrition supplements are provided to children under 5 who are not yet malnourished, in order to prevent them from becoming so.  To date, there have been joint missions to 15 locations, reaching more than 200,000 people, including 70,000 children under 5. In addition WFP teams have reached a further 14 locations, helping approximately 350,000 more people. Once access to these locations is open, partners are often able to provide ongoing assistance.

“Experienced humanitarian staff returning from deep field locations report conditions worse than they have ever seen,” said Joyce Luma, WFP Country Director in South Sudan.  “The work of these teams is critical if we are to avert a hunger catastrophe. We urgently need funds and partners to be able to expand coverage and establish a fixed presence in remote areas to support food and nutrition activities if we are to have any chance of avoiding an impending disaster.”

WFP initiated the innovative Rapid Response Mechanism missions in January, with UNICEF and other agencies joining in March to help increase capacity and provide a more complete package of assistance. Teams are currently operating around Koch and Nihaldu in Unity State reaching 58,700 people who have not previously had access to any form of assistance.

The appalling condition of people on arrival in Bentiu triggered joint assessment missions to find the areas from where they originated. Initial reports from the teams indicate extremely high levels of malnutrition among children under 5. Further immediate missions are planned for other targeted areas in Unity State. And then over the coming months UNICEF, WFP and partners will undertake additional missions to cover 30 hard-to-reach sites every month in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile.

The conflict in South Sudan has displaced some 1.5 million people from their homes. Over 1.1 million – more than half of them children – are living in makeshift shelters within South Sudan with limited or no access to humanitarian assistance. Four million people are facing emergency levels of food insecurity and UNICEF warns that 50,000 children under 5 are likely to die this year unless they can be reached with treatment for severe acute malnutrition. This crisis has also severely impacted humanitarian access as well as health and water and sanitation services.

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For additional information, please contact:

Mercy Kolok, Communications Officer, UNICEF South Sudan, Tel: +211 (0)955 639 658
Email: mkolok@unicef.org

James Elder, UNICEF Regional Chief of Communication, Eastern & Southern Africa; Mobile: +254 71558 1222; Email: jelder@unicef.org  twitter @1james_elder

Challiss McDonough, Senior Regional Spokeswoman, World Food Programme (WFP), Nairobi
Tel: +254-707-722-104, Email: challiss.mcdonough@wfp.org

Jackie Dent, Public Information Officer, WFP South Sudan Tel: + 211 (0) 922465247
Email: Jacqueline.dent@wfp.org

 

JUBA – UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are stepping up joint missions to reach desperate people in remote areas of South Sudan where the number of children at risk of death from malnutrition-related causes has increased dramatically and a hunger catastrophe is looming.

642171
07/04/2014 - 11:43
Responding to Emergencies

“Children who have survived the horror in the Central African Republic are now at risk of dying from malnutrition and its complications,” said Félicité Tchibindat, UNICEF Representative in Cameroon. “Death is stalking these children. It is alarming to see entire families undernourished – including older children and women.”

Since December last year, more than 100,000 Central African refugees – over half are children – have entered Cameroon after walking and hiding in the bush for weeks, and at times for months. Among them, between 20 to 30 per cent of children under five arrived suffering from malnutrition, a rate almost twice as high as the 15 per cent considered ‘critical’ in most emergency situations.   

Other findings of the assessment include:

•        Some 1 out of 5 pregnant and lactating refugee mothers also arrived in Cameroon malnourished, which puts their babies at increased risk.  
•        At least 17 per cent of children admitted into inpatients facilities suffering from malnutrition are over 5 years old.

Members of the mission, who included experts from UNICEF, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP), reported seeing hospital wards with a lot of emaciated, sick children, two to three in a bed.  

The risk of severe acute malnutrition, which can be deadly if left untreated, is particularly high. In the inpatient center of Batouri close to the border, the mortality rate in May exceeded 24 per cent.

Working with partners on the ground, UNICEF, UNHCR and WFP are stepping up their efforts to provide these children and their families with the nutrition assistance they need. All children below the age of 10 are receiving supplementary feeding and ready to use therapeutic foods.

Mobile clinics will also provide nutritional assistance to malnourished children residing with host communities.

Since March 2014, more than 1,600 children with severe acute malnutrition were admitted in the therapeutic feeding centers available at the arrival points and refugees sites and hospitals. Another 9,000 children and 2,000 mothers received supplementary feeding. In total, more than 50,000 people were provided with food assistance through UN agencies and NGOs.

“It is no exaggeration to say this nutrition crisis has well surpassed critical level,” said Gian Carlo Cirri, WFP Cameroon Country Director a.i. ‘WFP is implementing an aggressive response to ensure the absolute maximum nutrition support.’

Despite the urgency, of $9 million requested for the nutrition response for Central African refugees in Cameroon in the strategic response plan, only 2 per cent have been received so far. Additional lives will be lost if the international community does not step up its support.

For more information please contact:

Laure Bassek, UNICEF in Yaounde, Tel: +237 22 50 54 00, Cell: + 237 75 296 971, lbassek@unicef.org
Laurent Duvillier, UNICEF in Dakar, Tel: +221 338 69 76 42, Cell: + 221 77 740 35 77, lduvillier@unicef.org
Najwa Mekki, UNICEF in New York, Tel: +1212 326 7448, Cell: +1917 209 1804, nmekki@unicef.org
Fabienne Pompey, WFP in Dakar, Tel: +221 77 637 59 64, Fabienne.pompey@wfp.org
Sofia Engdahl, WFP in Cameroon Tel:   (+237)22 23 17 28 cell (+237) 75 39 49 56; sofia.engdahl@wfp.org
 

 

YAOUNDE/DAKAR, 3 July 2014 – In Cameroon, up to 1 out of 3 refugee children from Central African Republic suffer from malnutrition, a recent United Nations assessment found.