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News Releases

Official statements announcing key developments in WFP operations and activities.
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652303
12/31/2018 - 13:40

A WFP survey of registered beneficiaries has revealed that many in the capital have not been receiving the food rations to which they are entitled. In other areas, hungry people have been denied full rations. Millions of people depend on food assistance for their survival in Yemen which has been torn apart by a bitter civil war between government forces and Houthi insurgents.

The misappropriation of food relief came to light in a WFP review conducted during recent months. It was prompted by an increasing number of reports of humanitarian food for sale on the open market in the capital. What the checks unearthed was fraud being perpetrated by at least one local partner organisation tasked by WFP with handling and distributing its food assistance. The local organisation is affiliated with the de facto Ministry of Education in Houthi-controlled Sana’a.

“This conduct amounts to the stealing of food from the mouths of hungry people,” says WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “At a time when children are dying in Yemen because they haven’t enough food to eat, that is an outrage. This criminal behaviour must stop immediately.”

During their checks, WFP monitors amassed photographic and other evidence of trucks illicitly removing food from designated food distribution centres. They also found that the selection of beneficiaries was being manipulated by local officials and that food distribution records were being falsified. It was discovered that some food relief is being given to people not entitled to it and some is being sold for gain in the markets of the capital.

WFP is currently scaling up its food relief operations to reach as many as 12 million severely hungry people in Yemen. Without food assistance, as many as 20 million people could be in hunger crisis in the country which has been torn apart by a bitter civil war over recent years. WFP’s food assistance has been key in preventing famine in Yemen but, as the food security situation continues to deteriorate, the aid effort is being ramped up dramatically.

“I’m asking the Houthi authorities in Sana’a to take immediate action to end the diversion of food assistance and ensure that it reaches those people who rely on it to stay alive,” says Beasley. “Unless this happens, we’ll have no option but to cease working with those who’ve been conspiring to deprive large numbers of vulnerable people of the food on which they depend. Meanwhile, we’re continuing our investigations and addressing those shortcomings which have given rise to this misuse of aid.”

In areas prone to abuse, WFP is pressing for an overhaul of the relief system, including an ongoing push for more monitoring, reform of the beneficiary selection process to ensure that food gets to those most in need, and the nationwide introduction of biometric registration of beneficiaries. These changes have been repeatedly resisted by the de facto authorities in Houthi-controlled areas.

Peace talks between the warring sides have recently been taking place and are soon due to resume. There are real hopes that the New Year will bring a lasting peace in Yemen, allowing more food to enter through the port and giving humanitarian organisations increased access to areas they have been unable to reach because of fighting and bureaucratic obstruction. In the meantime, it is vital that humanitarian food relief reaches those who most need it.

ROME – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is demanding an immediate end to the diversion of humanitarian food relief in Yemen after uncovering evidence of the practice in the capital, Sana’a, and other parts of the country controlled by the Ansarullah (Houthi) movement.

652298
12/20/2018 - 11:11

Building on a surge in food assistance that averted famine in Kasai and Kasai Central, the UN agency quickly scaled up its interventions in the troubled eastern provinces of Ituri, Tanganyika and North and South Kivu, where flaring conflicts forced many more people from their homes.

Assistance was provided in the form of commodities and cash, and specially fortified foods for the treatment and prevention of acute malnutrition, which affects 4.6 million children countrywide.

Improved funding* is allowing the restoration of full food rations to some WFP recipients who had had to make do with half the programmed quantities for many months.

“This has been a year of multiple crises and considerable suffering for millions of Congolese”, said WFP Country Director Claude Jibidar. “We are grateful to donors for their strong support during a period of record needs, and count on their continued backing during what will surely be a challenging 2019”.

Two deadly outbreaks of Ebola complicated DRC’s humanitarian landscape in 2018. The first, declared in May in north-western Equateur province, was extinguished within three months thanks to vigorous containment efforts by responders led by the Ministry of Health.

WFP food assistance for confirmed and suspected sufferers, discharged patients and their families, and “contacts” of victims helped limit risky population movements and was fundamental. The agency’s role as UN humanitarian logistics lead and the deployment of expert staff, aircraft and other assets also contributed significantly.

A subsequent outbreak, declared in August and now the second largest on record globally, has seen more than 540 reported cases in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, with 300 lives lost. Again, WFP has been central to the response, providing food assistance to 86,000 affected people as well as wide-ranging logistical support. This epidemic could spread elsewhere in DRC – and beyond – because access is hampered by rebel attacks, a highly mobile population and local communities’ fears about Ebola treatments.

Humanitarian response in DRC has been further complicated by the recent expulsion of some 380,000 of its nationals from northern Angola to the already severely food insecure Kasai region. WFP provides cash and nutrition products at border arrival points, and food rations for transiting and host families.

Meanwhile, resilience programming remains crucial to stabilisation, and WFP has continued this year to seek development and peace dividends from humanitarian investments.

This is the case in Tanganyika province, where support to smallholder farmers, many of them women, is helping thousands of families from the Bantu and Twa ethnic groups leave behind a history of mutual distrust and violent clashes that provoked displacement and disrupted food production.

*WFP is grateful to the following donors for their generous contributions to our work in DRC in 2018: Belgium, Canada, the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

# # #

The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

Photos available here: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/Z3vxyQJjD3

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media, @PAM RDC @wfp_media @wfp_africa

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Jacques David, WFP/Kinshasa, Mob. +243 81 700 6842
Gerald Bourke, WFP/Johannesburg, Mob. +27 82 908 1417

KINSHASA – With widening violence, largescale displacement, poor harvests and endemic poverty nearly doubling the number of acutely food insecure people in DRC this year to 13.1 million, the World Food Programme (WFP) significantly expanded its operations, reaching a record 5 million, a twofold increase from 2017.

652296
12/19/2018 - 16:08

As WFP prioritises its operations based on available funds, 27,000 people in the West Bank stand to receive no further assistance while the rest are set to receive only 80 percent of their monthly entitlement.

WFP is concerned that these cuts may have a devastating effect on the food security, livelihoods and welfare of the people it serves in Palestine.

WFP needs US$57 million to maintain the current level of support to 360,000 people in 2019. In the absence of additional contributions, further cuts in assistance will have to be made.

“WFP’s assistance has been a lifeline to tens of thousands of people who have exhausted all their meagre resources while trying to cope with unabated and mounting hardships,” says WFP Representative and Country Director in Palestine Stephen Kearney. “As the gap between rising food needs and available resources continues to widen, WFP has no alternative but to take these difficult decisions.”

Food insecurity is on the rise, affecting one third of Palestine’s population and is worst in Gaza where nearly 70 percent of the population are food insecure, according to the preliminary results of a recent national survey on food security.

WFP assistance goes to the poorest and most food-insecure communities who are classified as facing deep poverty. Most of them struggle to live on less than US$1 per day and are unable to meet their basic food, clothing and housing needs. The withdrawal and reduction of food entitlements may cause them to skip more meals, take on additional debts and withdraw their children from school. These measures risk aggravating the prevailing humanitarian crisis and instability in Gaza.

“We call on the international donor community to strengthen its support and help us prevent even more hardship,” said Kearney.

The cuts in assistance threaten to exceed the immediate impact they may have on people’s lives and their ability to meet immediate food needs. With its monthly electronic food vouchers, WFP injects US$3 million of additional income into the local economy through a network of 185 shops in Gaza and the West Bank. The vouchers have been found to boost job creation and investment in the agro-industrial sector, benefiting small businesses, local dairy producers and small farms.

# # #

The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives
for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

Photos available here: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/MoBzyRBxHY

Follow us on Twitter @WFP_MENA

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Raphael du Boispean, WFP/Jerusalem, Mob. +972 546773160
Yasmine Abuelassal, WFP/Jerusalem, Mob. +972 546773170
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +201066634352
Steve Taravella, WFP/New York, Mob. +1 2027705993
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Washington, Mob. +1 202 7744026
Francis Mwanza, WFP/London, Mob. +44 7968008474

JERUSALEM – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is facing a severe funding shortfall in Palestine that will affect some 193,000 of the poorest people in Gaza and the West Bank as of January 2019.

652295
12/18/2018 - 20:14

Richard Kasimba, a driver, was shot dead during an ambush by unknown assailants about 70 kilometres northwest of Goma, North Kivu province, while travelling by road with three colleagues to monitor a food distribution.

His WFP companions were unhurt in the attack, which occurred at 8.30am local time in the Loashi area of Masisi territory. Their vehicle was headed for Nyabiondo, where the distribution, to 13,000 people recently displaced by violence, was to take place.

Armed groups, many of them criminal gangs who prey on local communities and travellers, are active in North Kivu, particularly Masisi territory. They are also known to disrupt the work of humanitarian organisations.

“As we mourn our dear friend Richard, we condemn this senseless killing and urge all parties to ensure safe passage for humanitarian staff engaged in life-saving work”, said WFP DRC Country Director Claude Jibidar, who had known the deceased for almost 20 years.

Richard leaves behind a wife and nine children, aged between three and 23. He joined WFP in 1995 and was admired and respected by colleagues for his professionalism, decency and calm.

“I never, ever heard him complain”, said Makena Walker, the head of WFP’s office in Goma, North Kivu’s capital, where Richard was based.

DRC is one of the world’s most complex, challenging and dangerous humanitarian environments. As is the case in such places, humanitarian and other workers operating there often put their lives on the line, travelling long distances through areas where insecurity is rife. They do so with little thought for their own safety, in the service of those less fortunate than themselves. Richard was one such person, who chose to serve his fellow countrymen with selflessness and dedication. He is fondly remembered by his family, his friends and his colleagues.

# # #

The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Jacques David, WFP Kinshasa, Mobile: +243 817 006 842
Gerald Bourke, WFP Johannesburg, Mobile: +27 82 908 1417

KINSHASA – The World Food Programme is deeply saddened by the killing on Monday of a staff member in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

652292
12/18/2018 - 11:50

UNHAS, which depends entirely on the support of international donors to finance its operating costs, is in urgent need of US$ 3 million to maintain its service for the next three months and will be grounded after January if there is no immediate injection of funds.

“The need for UNHAS is as great as it has ever been, and it would be a real tragedy for aid operations if it were to close down,” said Giancarlo Cirri, the Representative and Country Director of WFP in the Central African Republic. “We are appealing to our donor partners to save this essential piece of humanitarian relief operations in the Central African Republic.”

CAR has been mired in conflict for years with regular spikes. Roads become impassable and whole parts of the country are often completely cut off from the capital Bangui – leaving UNHAS as the main means of transport to access hard-to-reach locations.

In the month of November alone, following clashes in the central, north-west, east and south-east regions of the country, UNHAS provided transport for over 2,000 aid workers - a record for a single month since it started operations in CAR in 2006. Between January and December UNHAS also carried out 26 medical evacuations and relocated 193 workers from 5 localities.

Over half of the country’s population (2.9 million people) remain in need of humanitarian assistance. One in four citizens is displaced either within or outside the country and insecurity continues to destroy livelihoods.

From January to November 2018, WFP provided food assistance to more than 800.000 people including children between 6-23 months supported by a malnutrition prevention programme.

# # #

The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives
for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media @wfp_WAfrica

To download UNHAS photos: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/4nBoEZ8NVY

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Bruno Djoyo, WFP/Bangui, Mob. +236 72187576
SimonPierre Diouf, WFP/Dakar, Mob. +221 778012221
Herve Verhoosel, WFP/Geneva, Mob. + 41 798428057
Vigno Hounkanli, WFP/Rome, Mob. +39 3453970966

BANGUI –The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) that enables aid workers to deploy to reach tens of thousands of people in need in the Central African Republic (CAR) is at risk of shutting down due to a shortage of funds, the World Food Programme (WFP) that manages the service warned today.

652291
12/17/2018 - 16:40

The agreement allows for WFP and the Government to share and expand its expertise on interventions in areas such as water management, nutrition, diversification of livelihoods and increased agricultural productivity.

“As we prepare to chair the African Union in 2019, we are determined to take our strategic partnership with the United Nations and its specialized agencies to new levels“, said Assistant Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs and International Security, Ambassador Ehab Fawzy.

The agreement was signed by WFP’s Senior Director for Strategic Coordination and Support, Stanlake Samkange and H.E. Ehab Fawzy during a joint anniversary celebration held by WFP and the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“I’m proud to witness WFP and the Government of Egypt take this direction towards expanding technical and learning experience with other developing countries,” said Dr. Samkange. “This is a great opportunity to showcase Egypt and WFP’s many success stories and contribute to the development aspirations of Africa as whole.”

The agreement will be supported by the Luxor Coordination Center for Knowledge Sharing and Innovation to Promote Resilience in Upper Egypt. The centre developed by WFP in partnership with the Government, will facilitate knowledge-exchange activities, providing diverse and proven national expertise on development interventions.

“WFP and Egypt’s longstanding partnership is deeply rooted on a history of thriving cooperation and mutual understanding,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Egypt, Menghestab Haile. “WFP remains a committed partner of the Government to achieve the 2030 Agenda, particularly through the positioning of Egypt as a key actor for regional cooperation.”
WFP has been in Egypt since 1968, working with the Government to respond to humanitarian needs and tackle the underlying causes of vulnerability to food insecurity and malnutrition in the country.

# # #

The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

Follow us on Twitter @WFP_AR and @WFP_MENA

For more information, please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Amina Al Korey, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2 02 2526 1992, Mob. +2 0102853153

CAIRO – Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Egypt, the Egyptian Government and WFP yesterday signed an agreement to benefit neighbouring and African countries through the exchange of knowledge and expertise in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular the goal of Zero Hunger.

652290
12/17/2018 - 16:24

This two-day event will bring together international and Belgian humanitarian organisations, donors, large companies, start-ups, scientists, academics and engineers to generate new ideas, build prototypes and launch new projects that could help save and change millions of lives around the world.

WFP has identified six key challenges faced by the humanitarian sector, such as improving humanitarian access in hard-to-reach areas, optimising data management, adapting to climate change, connecting smallholder farmers to markets, leveraging local food production for school meals, and using technology to predict population movements. Participants will form teams that will address these challenges either by developing prototypes using new technologies or through harnessing the existent resources from multiple stakeholders.

The Humanitarian Hackathon aims to leverage cutting-edge technologies and solutions, which can help create a world without hunger by 2030. After decades of decline, global hunger is on the rise again, making the Hackathon’s challenges extremely timely and relevant. As many as 821 million people – one in nine – go to bed on an empty stomach each night. Finding new ways to deliver aid more efficiently and effectively is crucial to alleviate their suffering and turn #ZeroHunger into reality.

For more information, visit our website www.humanitarianhackathon.org. The application deadline for participants is 27 December 2018.

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About the Humanitarian Hackathon

The Humanitarian Hackathon is an initiative of the Belgian Ministry for Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda and Telecommunications, a major donor of international humanitarian aid. The event is organized by the World Food Programme (WFP), the leading agency fighting hunger worldwide, and by Hack Belgium Labs, the creator of Belgium's biggest multi-stakeholder hackathon.

About the World Food Programme

The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

For more information please contact:

Hack Belgium: Ms. Tine Nelissen, Email: tine@hackbelgium.be - Tel.: +32 471 92 14 08

World Food Programme: Ms. Aneta Szczyglowska, Email: aneta.szczyglowska@wfp.org -
Tel.: +32 2 500 09 13

Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs: M. Matthieu Branders, Email: matthieu.branders@diplobel.fed.be -
Tel.: +32 2 501 91 09 - Mobile: +32 471 44 06 04

BRUSSELS - The UN World Food Programme (WFP) together with the Belgian Ministry for Development Cooperation and Hack Belgium Labs are inviting technology and innovation champions to join the first ever Humanitarian Hackathon focused on food security. It will take place at Egmont Palace in Brussels on 15-16 January 2019, aiming to develop technology-driven solutions for some of today’s most pressing humanitarian challenges.

652289
12/17/2018 - 11:13

“WFP greatly appreciates this generous contribution from the Government and people of Germany,” said Michael Dunford, WFP Tanzania Country Representative. “Germany is a key supporter of WFP’s programme providing life-saving food assistance for refugees in Tanzania.”

WFP distributes monthly rations consisting of cereal, pulses, vegetable oil and salt as well as fortified supplementary foods for vulnerable pregnant and lactating women, children under five, malnourished persons with HIV/AIDS and hospital in-patients. In addition, high energy biscuits are provided to refugees in transit.

Tanzania hosts some 290,000 refugees, most of them women and children, in Nduta, Nyarugusu and Mtendeli refugee camps in Kigoma region in northwest Tanzania. More than 70 percent are from Burundi, and the remainder primarily from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“My country is proud to support WFP in helping those in need who have found refuge in Tanzania,” said Dr. Detlef Waechter, Ambassador of Germany to Tanzania. “It will be important to get political conditions right for the refugees to return to their home countries voluntarily and safely.”

While limited funding forced reductions in rations between February 2017 and October this year, increased support from donors, including Germany, has enabled the restoration of full rations. WFP continues to raise funds so that food rations do not need to be reduced in coming months.

# # #

The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

Follow us on Twitter @WFP_Tanzania and @GermanyTanzania

For more information please contact:
Fizza.Moloo@WFP.org, WFP/Tanzania, Tel. +255 (0) 759 686 543 or +255 (0) 784 720 022
John Merikion, German Embassy, pr-100@dare.diplo.de

DAR ES SALAAM – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a €3.25 million contribution from the Federal Republic of Germany to support its work in favour of refugees and asylum seekers in Tanzania in 2018-19.

652280
12/08/2018 - 10:58

As many as 20 million Yemenis are food insecure in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Already, 15.9 million people wake up hungry, according to the latest Integrated food security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, which is released today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and humanitarian partners.

(link to the report: (http://www.ipcinfo.org/fileadmin/user_upload/ipcinfo/docs/1_IPC_Yemen_AF...)

“What the IPC tells us is alarming,” said Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. “65,000 people are barely surviving right now and at least a quarter of a million people are facing a bleak year. Any change in their circumstances, including any disruption in their ability to access food on a regular basis will bring them to the brink of death.”

Conflict remains the major driver of food insecurity. Loss of livelihoods and income and increases in the price of basic commodities are also contributing factors, reducing the ability of families to purchase food. Unpredictable fluctuations in the exchange rate and credit restrictions have impacted imports. The collapse of public services and social safety nets and the erosion of coping mechanisms have made millions of Yemenis more vulnerable to shocks.

“Agriculture and livelihood support are a critical part of the humanitarian response in Yemen. Prior to the escalation of violence, 73% of the population relied on agriculture and fisheries for their livelihoods. FAO is not only working to enable families to produce food for themselves and their communities when markets are disrupted, but also to safeguard, protect and restore Yemen’s agriculture sector. For example, more than 1 million animals have been vaccinated and treated for pests and diseases. However, more funds are needed to support millions of Yemeni family farmers,” the FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said.

“In a war waged by adults, it is the country’s children who suffer first and suffer most,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Thousands of Yemeni children could die from severe malnutrition if conditions, including conflict and economic crisis, do not improve soon. Warring parties must choose whether to end the fighting, and save lives, or fight on, and cause more children to die.”
“With the support of the international community, WFP is feeding nearly eight million people a month. If not for that, two thirds of the population in Yemen would be facing horrific levels of hunger and starvation,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “This report is an alarm bell that shows hunger is rising and we need a massive increase in aid and sustained access to all areas in Yemen in order to rescue millions of Yemenis. If we don’t, we will lose an entire generation of children to hunger.”

High rates of malnutrition among children

The level of acute malnutrition among children remains high. Across the country, 1.8 million children are acutely malnourished, including nearly 400,000 who suffer from the most severe form. Children with severe acute malnutrition are 11 times more at risk of death if not treated in time than a healthy child of the same age. The high levels of malnutrition are compounded by lack of food, poor child feeding practices at home, sub-optimal functioning of the health, water and sanitation systems, disease outbreaks and the deteriorating economy.

Price hikes put food out of reach

While markets are open, financial access to food remains of great concern. A large proportion of the population, even in more stable areas, cannot access basic food commodities because food prices have jumped by 150 percent compared to pre-crisis levels. Fuel prices, including gas for cooking, have also soared.

The agriculture sector has also been hit hard by the conflict and food production has slumped. Even with the prolonged crisis, agriculture remains the primary livelihood for three-quarters of the population. It is their only source of income and is critical to enabling them to access food on the markets. Agriculture and rural livelihoods are integral to the humanitarian response to support local food production, protect livelihoods and improve food security.

Even before the conflict, Yemen was prone to chronic food insecurity due to its reliance on imports for over 75 percent of its national food requirements, while 80 per cent of Yemenis lived below the poverty line.

Humanitarian response

The largest humanitarian relief operation is underway in Yemen. As the food security situation deteriorates, WFP is rapidly scaling up its operations to reach as many as 12 million people every month with the food and nutrition assistance they so desperately need. Among these are some 3 million women and children who need special support to treat and prevent malnutrition.

FAO is helping over 5 million people to protect their livelihoods by providing crop and vegetable seeds, fishing gear, poultry production kits, vaccinations and treatments for livestock, and cash support in exchange for work on rehabilitating agricultural infrastructure.

Across Yemen, UNICEF has accelerated the implementation of specialized programmes in existing health facilities to prevent and treat severe acute malnutrition in children. This includes training staff and supplying facilities with essential equipment, specialized foods for severely malnourished children and medicines. So far in 2018, nearly 230,000 children have been treated for severe acute malnutrition.

ENDS

Note to Editors
Famine is declared when there is evidence of the following three conditions in a single location: at least 20 percent of households face extreme food shortages; at least 30 percent of children younger than five suffer from acute malnutrition; and at least two out of every 10,000 people are dying every day. The analysis for Yemen does not meet this threshold at present.

Contacts
FAO
Zoie Jones (Rome)
(+39) 06 570 56309
Zoie.Jones@fao.org

UNICEF
Christopher Tidey (New York)
+19173403017
ctidey@unicef.org

WFP
Reem Nada (Cairo)
+201066634522
reem.nada@wfp.org

David Orr (Rome)
+393402466831
david.orr@wfp.org

UN agencies warn that an urgent scale up of humanitarian assistance is needed to save lives

652279
12/07/2018 - 10:17

With this contribution, WFP will provide direct cash transfers to refugees in Dadaab and Kakuma camps and in Kalobeyei settlement through February 2019.

“Since the beginning of this year, funding for the cash component of the refugees’ food basket has remained unpredictable and dangerously low,” said Annalisa Conte, WFP Country Director and Representative in Kenya. “We are grateful to the American people for their generosity and at the same time, we appeal to all donors to help secure funding needed to guarantee continued food assistance to refugees.”

“The United States government has and will always stand with disadvantaged men, women and children displaced from their countries by conflict or natural disasters,” said USAID’s Mission Director, Mark Meassick. “USAID is proud to partner with WFP and the Government of Kenya at both national and county levels in supporting food and nutrition security for refugees through the Bamba Chakula program, which also benefits host communities by stimulating local markets and creating jobs."

In the Dadaab and Kakuma camps, WFP provides food assistance to refugees in the form of a mix of food items – cereals, pulses, vegetable oil and nutrient-enriched flour – and a cash transfer called Bamba Chakula, which is Swahili-based slang for ‘get your food.’

The cash, sent through mobile telephones, allows refugees to buy food of their choice from local markets. USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partners with WFP to provide relief and build resilience among the most vulnerable populations in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid counties.

Each refugee in families of two or more in Dadaab and Kakuma camps now receives 400 Kenyan shillings (US$4), up from 300 Kenyan shillings (US$3) in September, via their mobile telephone. Single member families will continue receiving 500 Kenyan shillings (US$5) while each refugee in Kalobeyei settlement will continue to receive 1,400 Kenyan shillings (US$14) each month.

From October, WFP’s monthly cash transfer to refugees in Daadab, Kakuma and Kalobeyei increased to 220 million Kenyan shillings (US$2.2 million), up from 170 million Kenyan shillings (US$1.7 million). WFP is working with over 800 traders to serve refugees. The cash transfers to refugees have greatly boosted trading in the Dadaab, Kakuma and Kalobeyei markets. Overall, WFP requires US$7 million to provide food assistance to refugees in Kenya every month.

While cash represents only a portion of the assistance given to the 400,000 refugees, it plays an important role in providing dietary diversity. Cash supports local purchase of specialized nutritious produce, like fresh fruit and vegetables, and promotes the development of local markets.

# # #

The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

USAID leads international food assistance efforts within the U.S. Government. Through Food for Peace, USAID provides emergency food assistance to those affected by conflict and natural disasters, and provides development food assistance to address the underlying causes of hunger and improve food security in the long term.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media, @wfp_africa @wfpgovts

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Martin Karimi, WFP/Nairobi, Tel. +254 20 762 2301, Mob. +254 707 722 161
Peter Smerdon, WFP/Nairobi, Tel. +254 20 762 2179, Mob. +254 707 722 104

NAIROBI – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is contributing US$14.3 million (1.4 billion Kenyan shillings) to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide food assistance to more than 400,000 refugees living in northern Kenya.