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A unique view of all the ways WFP is assisting millions of people worldwide.

12/16/2016 - 12:21
Climate Change, Contributions to WFP, Purchase for Progress, Responding to Emergencies

In April 2016, it was time for most Malawians to harvest their crops. Abel Mwase, a lead farmer in Lilongwe district, fared better than most Malawian farmers by producing over 300 bags of maize, some of which he has been able to sell for a profit.

This came after an extremely difficult growing season characterized by El Niño-induced drought, which left most farmers countrywide with failed harvests and little to no food for the year. These challenging circumstances resulted in around 40 percent of Malawians facing food insecurity this year with the most difficult months still ahead.

Abel, who is supported by the World Food Programme’s Purchase For Progress (P4P) initiative, is a founding member of the Chigonthi Farmer Organisation, which currently consists of 99 members. Through P4P, Chigonthi farmers have benefitted from WFP trainings on post-harvest management, market and cooperative management, as well as from partner-led trainings on conservation agriculture.

“This year I applied compost manure which I think conserved moisture in the soil. This helped me to grow more than most during the past growing season, which was very difficult due to lack of rains,” said Abel.

Prior to his involvement with the cooperative, Abel lacked access to proper storage facilities. Now using methods learned through P4P trainings, he is able to store surplus commodities safely in a warehouse originally supported by FAO and handed over for management by P4P-supported farmers in 2013.  

Since the group’s establishment, the food security situation of the members has seen great improvement with many of the farmers experiencing surplus harvests.

P4P also increases market opportunities for supported farmers, in part through WFP’s direct purchase from supported farmers. At the onset of its current relief response, WFP looked to Farmer Organizations like Chigonthi to source some of the response’s maize requirements in June and July. This helped ensure availability of commodities for distribution at the exceptionally early start of the response in July.

Of the 300 plus bags he harvested this past year, Abel put aside 100 bags of maize for storage in the farmer organization’s warehouse. Using a contribution from USAID specifically for local maize purchase, WFP purchased 30 mt of maize directly from the Chigonthi Farmer Organization in July, which it then delivered to food insecure households as part of its current relief response.

“I was able to supply 90 bags to WFP under this sale,” explained Abel. “I have used the money I made to purchase farming inputs including chicken manure to apply on the crops I have planted for this season.”  

WFP and USAID require high quality standards of commodities, which farmers in the Chigonthi Farmer Organisation were able to meet this year in part due to skills learned through P4P. Competitive prices are offered in exchange for quality commodities, which further incentives investment and increased production among Malawian farmers. Abel has also sold over 200 bags of maize to the Government of Malawi’s National Food Reserve Agency, further increasing his post-harvest profit.  Continuing to build on the skills and support provided by WFP, Abel and other WFP-supported farmers hope to increase production and sell to WFP and other competitive buyers in future years. 

Using a contribution from USAID specifically for local maize purchase, WFP purchased 30 metric tons of maize directly from the Chigonthi Farmers Organization in mid-2016 which it then delivered to food-insecure households as part of its current relief response. 

12/15/2016 - 11:08

The humanitarian situation in Aleppo is catastrophic. The World Food Programme urges all parties to this vicious conflict to respect international law and common humanitarian princples and provide unconditional, unimpeded and safe access to those in need. 

Read more about what WFP is doing and how you can help. 



12/08/2016 - 13:11
Responding to Emergencies

Diplomats and donors went to Aru in Ituri province in November to assess refugee needs, the status of the Biringi site and the early response of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) and of the World Food Program (WFP). They met the local authorities, humanitarian organizations and, most importantly, the refugees themselves. Following the field visit, we asked each member of the delegation for their impressions.

1.    What are your impressions of the situation of South Sudanese refugees you've met?

I was impressed! Thanks to the work of humanitarian actors, the refugees weren’t in as bad a condition as I had anticipated. However, you could still see in their faces the stress they had gone through during their flight. I think it's a great approach, to leave a lot of space between the shelters in the new site in Biringi and to provide farmland for the refugees there.  

Karl Philipp Ehlerding, First Secretary at the German Embassy in DRC

2.    What are your impressions concerning the welcoming of the refugees from the host population and from the Congolese authorities?

The Congolese authorities and the population have proved to be very open, involved and enthusiastic. I wish we had the same open hearts in Europe with the Syrian refugees. At the border with South Sudan, there is still work to do in order to sensitize the refugees and explain the need to relocate them away from the border for their own safety.  

Annelies de Backer, Head of Belgian Cooperation in DRC

3.    Food assistance at the new site in Biringi will consist of money transfers directly to the refugees: what do you think about that?

It's a win - win solution for both refugees and host population: the beneficiaries have the opportunity to choose the food they want to eat, which increases their dignity. It also allows to support the local economy and facilitate their integration into the host community. Cash transfers are also interesting from a gender point of view because it is often the women who are in charge of spending and they are the ones getting the money.

Björn Holmgren, Second Secretary at the Embassy of Sweden in DRC

4.    How can we achieve self-sufficiency among the refugees?

The most important thing is that refugees are able to develop their own livelihoods and that they have access to the same opportunities they had in their own country. Although the operations is at an early stage, what we saw during this visit is encouraging, especially because host communities seem to be very welcoming. The ideal would be to reach the same situation as in Uganda where South Sudanese refugees have a good degree of freedom of movement and work, which is positive for their food security and promotes self-sufficiency.

Jean Woynicki, Regional coordinator for refugees from the Embassy of the United States in Uganda

5.    During the interviews with young refugees at Biringi, what struck you the most?

Firstly, it's their journey, the trials they overcame and their extreme vulnerability, especially the young girls'. Then, during the discussions, we heard their optimism, their desire to move forward and get involved in community life by helping the most vulnerable, elderly or unaccompanied children. In response to their very legitimate concerns regarding access to education, health or sports and cultural activities, their energy should be channeled and used wisely. It is essential to preserve social peace between refugees as well as with the host populations: it is a crucial element in the UNHCR’s 'alternative to the camps' strategy.

Sébastien Dauré, Attaché for regional Cooperation / humanitarian correspondent at the Embassy of France in DRC

6.    UNHCR and WFP are implementing a joint operation in support of the South Sudanese refugees: how do you view this?

This is vital because protection and food security are the most important issues in this emergency situation. But this collaboration must go beyond the humanitarian emergency and be part of a broader approach in order to quickly reach a greater empowerment of refugees within the populations that have generously hosted them. It is also necessary to expand the operation and include a larger number of actors as part of a holistic approach.

Thomas Deherman-Roy, Head of the ECHO regional Office, Kinshasa - Great Lakes region

7.    What should the role of the international community be in this South Sudanese refugee crisis?

A humanitarian gap is emerging in terms of healthcare, education and protection. The large scale of the emergency situation requires a common response. UNHCR and WFP will need to encourage and coordinate the activity of other actors, and donors are responsible to support them in this venture. Beside the local approach, a regional solution for South Sudan and for the refugees must be found and we would encourage UNHCR and WFP to harness the strength of their regional offices and make sure information is regularly shared. This is an opportunity for us to look into new ideas to address this long lasting violence cycle in South Sudan and how the response in DRC to the influx of refugees can be appropriate to the context. 

Campbell McDade, Coordinator for Eastern DRC for DFID


More than 60,000 South Sudanese refugees are hosted in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They have fled fighting in the Equatoria region of their home country. Most of them are women and children. While more are arriving daily, they are being settled away from the border at Biringi (Ituri province) and other sites in the province of Haut-Uele. 

12/08/2016 - 07:21

I began my career as a Food Research Officer at the DFTQC in 1999 in Dhangadi, Kailali district of Far Western Nepal. I was stationed there for over a decade, during which my duties included checking the quality of food that was produced in Nepal and also from India. I was also engaged in laboratory sample analysis, industry and market monitoring, food processing training, etc. In 2014, I was promoted to Senior Food Research Officer in Hetauda, an important hub for trade and commerce in central Nepal. 

The Regional Food Technology and Quality Control Office in Hetauda implements various rules and regulations concerning the Food Act, including  processing concerns over food quality control, expanding food technologies, conducting food processing trainings, nutrition trainings, enhancing consumer knowledge and awareness as well as  food hygiene related trainings. In Hetauda, we oversee such activities across seven districts in the central southern plains of Nepal that borders India. 

I was given the opportunity to participate in a 24 day training program in Israel through the support of MASHAV and WFP.   There were a total of 27 participants from Panama, Costa Rica, Barbados, Serbia, Georgia, Armenia, India, Nepal, Vietnam, Nigeria, Gambia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi, and Ghana.

The training covered various topics on risk factors and management; value addition, shelf life and technology, Quality Assurance and Quality Control, Environmental Management, usage of pesticide and fertilizer, amongst others. The trainings were a series of lectures and discussions, group work and discussion, and field visits that were followed by a final presentation. The aim of the training was to provide participants with management skills for confronting hazards and threats in regard to food. 

The training taught me important technical skills specifically on food safety, using new technology and equipment.  Since my return, I have shared the knowledge I gained from this training with my colleagues. This training not only benefited me but my colleagues, enhancing DTQC’s knowledge, work, and working capacity. Through this training, I will apply all of my new knowledge in the day to day management of food safety and quality control. 

I believe that if such trainings are given to consumer-rights organizations, journalists, industrialists, and food entrepreneurs, they would be able to better advocate to consumers about safer food products.  If skills involving the latest and modern technology are replaced with traditional ones, Nepal will be better equipped to determine quality of food.

Developing countries like Nepal are poorly equipped to respond to existing and emerging food safety problems due to lack technical and financial resources as well sufficient information about the hazards and risks involved and trained manpower. However, through trainings like this one, Nepal can improve and provide safer food to all.


WFP Nepal will to continue to support DFTQC and other actors to contribute to their capacity and knowledge in the area of food safety and quality. This training was one of several that WFP Nepal has conducted in areas ranging from Emergency Practical and Operational Logistics, Emergency Food Management, ICT Emergency Management, Food Quality and Safety and Assembling and Dismantling a Humanitarian Logistics Platform. These trainings have targeted 151 participants from Government, Security Forces, INGOs, Red Cross and UN Agencies. WFP Nepal will continue to provide such trainings in 2017. 

Raj Kumar Rijal works as the Senior Food Research Officer at the Government of Nepal’s Regional Food Technology and Quality Control Office (DTQC) in Hetauda.
In September 2016, Mr. Rijal had the opportunity to travel to Israel to learn more about “Feeding the Future: Food Safety and Technology in Times of Global Change" at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  
The training he received was part of a programme by Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) and WFP Nepal to strengthen government capacity. 
Here Rijal talks to WFP about his experience. 

12/05/2016 - 12:19


Mr Talibe Selmen Camara – Village Chief, Agoueinitt in the Wilaya of Guidimakha Photo credit: WFP/G. GADER


Combatting Desertification and Land Degradation 

[quote| We are people who love trees and we protect them because our life depends someway on their existence.”- Talibe Selmen Camara – Village Chief, Agoueinitt in the Wilaya of Guidimakha]

In the south of Mauritania, Guidimakha is the region with the highest population density as well as poverty and hunger in the country. Communities in Guidimakah are comprised of  smallholder farmers who rely on rainfed agriculture and livestock keeping.  They farm small family plots averaging 1.3 hectares. Due to the arid climate of this region, communities must protect existing vegetation for cultivation as well as livestock. “We are people who love trees and we protect them because our life depends someway on their existence” says Talibe Selmen Camara who is the village chief of Agoueinitt in the Wilaya of Guidimakha.

[quote|“While setting up the adaptation action plan with the Adaptation Fund project, we proposed to plant trees and particularly two species that have a special value for people of the village.” - Talibe Selmen Camara – Village Chief, Agoueinitt] To combat desertification and soil degradation, the project introduced sand dune fixation and village plantations – to prevent sand dunes from encroaching their cultivated lands, and protect degraded soils. Under the project, 58 tree nurseries have been grown and planted by local communities. The project has a participatory approach and works with villages to include better natural resource management and village adaptation plans into regional planning. “While setting up the adaptation action plan with the Adaptation Fund project, we proposed to plant trees and particularly two species that have a special value for people of the village.” says Talibe Camara, the Village Chief of Agoueinitt. The community proposed planting Ziziphus and Balanites, two local trees well adapted to local climatic conditions. These trees also produce fruits which can be eaten or transformed into local drinks for direct use or for sale.

Women planting nurseries in Agoueinitt, Guidimakha region as part of the project. Photo credit: WFP/G. GADER

As part of the project across the country, 163,000 plants will cover about 400 hectares in 8 regions of Mauritania. Areas planted have been fenced for protection. These plantations have two objectives based on the ecosystems where they will be implemented: dune fixation or village plantation for soil protection and domestic consumption.

Diversifying livelihoods, building resilience 

In addition to dune fixation and soil protection, the project introduced planting of high value crops such as vegetables in 37 villages with the help of women’s associations. The project will also introduce activities such as poultry and bee-keeping for income and livelihood diversification so that incomes and food security are less vulnerable to the changing climate.  

[quote|“We are very happy by this cooperation with the project and we are fully involved to success all the activities planned in our village”]

As in Guidimakha, local environmental and community needs are taken into consideration while planning income and livelihood activities across different villages. The project aims to build livelihood resilience within the targeted communities and has brought hope to the people in the villages. “The project helped us to establish the nursery with the needed technical support ensured by the Regional Environment Services” says Talibe Camara. Looking ahead, he feels optimistic toward the project’s impact on the communities. “We are very happy by this cooperation with the project and we are fully involved to success all the activities planned in our village” he added.


Talibe Selmen Camara and people in his village Agoueinitt in the Wilaya of Guidimakha, the southern-most region of Mauritania have been suffering in recent years due to lack of rainfall. Droughts and land degradation have destroyed crops and threatened the food security of local communities across the region. Smallholder farmers have resorted to desperate measures in order to cope, selling vital assets or migrating. To help communities adapt to and thrive under climate change, WFP is supporting Governments to implement the project “Enhancing Resilience of Communities to the Adverse Effects of Climate Change on Food Security in Mauritania” under the UNFCCC Adaptation Fund. This four year project is already yielding concrete adaptation results after its first year of implmentation. 

12/05/2016 - 11:51

WFP continues to follow frontlines in Mosul by delivering life-saving food assistance to families in camps and newly retaken areas. Since the onset of the Mosul offensive in October, WFP and its partners have provided ready-to-eat food to more than 196,000 people affected by the conflict.

Read the story here.

A glimpse into life under so-called Islamic State, in the words of those who escaped.

12/05/2016 - 10:29

CAIRO, EGYPT - With no more than 1 or to 2 fedans  of agricultural land, Heba and Adel live in a region that has seen livelihoods affected by climate change. "During the last decades, we have been without winter and high temperatures have taken away our wheat”, says Heba. “Especially in the last 5 years, intense heat waves and strong winds have caused the loss of wheat, our main staple crop.” 

Instead of helping seeds to germinate, high temperatures have allowed fungus to propagate and the wheat has died from rust. Lost yields led to low income, and scarcity of supply led to high wheat prices in local markets. As a result daily lives were affected and farmers like Heba and Adel had less income to sustain their food and other household needs like paying for health services and education for their children. “We lost half of our wheat yields.  We did not have any other source of work and food,” she says with a sigh.

Adaptation activities helps build livelihood resilience 

Adel (with the shoulder bag) escorting the project expert and two neighbours in a visit to his wheat field in December 2014. Photo courtesy: Romani Emil

The project “Building Resilient Food Security Systems to Benefit the Southern Egypt Region”, funded by the UNFCCC Adaptation Fund, supports Egypt’s National Adaptation Strategy which aims to help the country adapt to climate change in sectors including coastal zone management, water resources, agriculture, tourism, health, population, housing and roads.

[quote|“Due to the unexpected extreme weather events such as heat waves, we lost half of our wheat yields.  We did not have any other source of work and food.”] During the 2013-2014 winter season, a new heat-tolerant wheat variety was introduced and raised-bed cultivation was adopted in the fields of XXX community. Technical assistance was provided to help farmers change their cultivation dates as well as their irrigation and fertilization schedules. This resulted in a 35 percent increase in productivity as well as 25 percent reduction in costs. Benefitting from the results achieved in the 2013-2014 winter season, farmers in Aswan requested the project to continue work with them in the upcoming summer season.  They also expressed a strong willingness to revert to sorghum – a crop previously shunned by farmers due to its association with poverty. The new variety was introduced in the 2014 summer season. 

Sorghum harvest day – Mansouria, Aswan September 2014. Photo courtesy: Romani Emil

[quote|“We know better when to wait, when to cultivate, when to harvest. Sorghum can tolerate heat much better than maize. We have now seen this.”]

As two of the farmers of Aswan who adopted the sorghum crop, Heba and Adel are happy with the results they see. Adel describes how the introduction of new sorghum varieties, shifting planting date and the weather news proved a success. Adel’s sorghum yields have increased his income by 55  percent. The straws from the sorghum are given to cattle, and income generated is spent on different livelihoods needs. “We know better when to wait, when to cultivate, when to harvest. Sorghum can tolerate heat much better than maize. We have now seen this” he says.

Heba (dressed in black) attending a village meeting in Mansouria. Photo courtesy: Romani Emil

Planned to run for four years, the project has been welcomed by the Government as an important step in addressing the challenges posed by climate change. Other activities being implemented include generating awareness of climate threat within rural communities through climate information centres, radio and community theatre, diversification of rural incomes by introduction of high value crops, bee keeping and livestock. Institutional capacity building is also part of the project’s activities. In addition, the improved crop varieties introduced have been developed by the Agriculture Research Center of the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture. 

Heba and Adel are two of many smallholder farmers in the village of Mansouria in Upper Egypt’s Aswan governorate whose lives have been affected by climate change. Intense heat and strong winds have, in the past, led to substantial decrease in wheat production. Wheat is the region’s staple crop and the cornerstone of many livelihoods, leaving many households vulnerable to food insecurity and loss of income. To help farmers adapt, WFP is implementing a four-year project aimed at improving the capacity of farmers like Heba and Adel to adapt to anticipated reductions in food production from climate change and to build institutional capacity at all levels.

11/28/2016 - 11:10

Even before we begin talking, Elena Yezani beckons me to join her in her grass-thatched kitchen where, at 2:30 pm, she is preparing the family’s sole meal of the day.

As we start talking about the impact of the El Niño-induced drought in Chidokowe village in the central region district of Ntcheu district, Elena has tears in her eyes.

“Two bags, two bags of maize is all we were able to harvest when usually we get 30 to 40 bags,” says the mother of five.

Prior to receiving food assistance, the family has had to sell most of its livestock. All that remains is a baby pig which looks frail due to lack of food.

Elena’s children are hoping that if the piglet grows, then the family can sell it and use the money for other household needs. But they can’t even feed the piglet.

“What would you feed a pig when humans are eating maize husks usually fed to the animals…?” Elena asks. "Before receiving food assistance from WFP in September, I had to borrow food from a neighbouring village so we could at least feed the kids."

The family’s troubles started with a devastating agricultural season in 2014-15, and then an El Niño-induced drought during the 2015-16 growing season. According to the Malawi Vulnerability assessment Committee, some 6.7 million people will need food assistance during the peak of the lean season.

Elena complains that her youngest child, 18-month-old Fiona, is still breastfeeding although there is little milk due to the mother’s poor diet.

"If there was no food support, people would start dying,” she says.

Families receive a monthly household food ration of maize, pulses and vegetable oil or its cash equivalent.  Families with pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under the age of two, also receive a fortified blended flour (Likuni Phala) to prevent malnutrition.

“It takes us the whole morning to gather firewood for several meals,” she says. “The land is bare, people have cut down the trees to make charcoal which they sell by the roadside so they can buy food.”

To help struggling families recover, WFP and its partners are working with communities to create and rehabilitate productive assets. Elena is making fuel-efficient stoves for her own use and also to sell.

Thanks to the Government of Malawi and support from the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, the European Union, the Netherlands, Australia, Norway and others, millions of food-insecure people like Elena can get through this season and remain hopeful for what is to come.



Thanks to the Government of Malawi and support from the governments around the world, millions of hungry and food-insecure people in Malawi can get through the lean season and nurture some optimism about the future.

11/25/2016 - 10:16
Responding to Emergencies

“The most important thing is that we're safe, we have shelter, the kids are going to school and we do not go to bed hungry,” says Catherine Hatangimana, a refugee who fled violence in Rwanda.

A mother of six children, she now lives in Tongogara refugee camp in south-eastern Zimbabwe. Located in Chipinge, a semi-arid area, the camp is supported by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and The World Food Programme (WFP).[quote|“The most important thing is that we are safe, we have shelter, the kids are going to school and we do not go to bed hungry,”] 

Conflict and unrest in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa region — in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea— have displaced large numbers of  people and more than 7,500 refugees are now living  in Zimbabwe’s Tongogara refugee camp in Chipinge. Without adequate and timely assistance, these refugees cannot sustain themselves. Under Zimbabwean law, refugees are obliged to stay in the camp and only a few are permitted to work outside its boundaries.

Catherine is a member of the piggery project at the camp

WFP took over food distributions in the camp in January 2015, subsequently changing to cash-based transfers so refugees could make their own purchase decisions about food. Seventy percent of the money they receive goes on buying food - rice, fish and potatoes are the most popular commodities.

UNHCR is focused on providing shelter, water and sanitation, and educational supplies. The refugee agency is also committed to expanding and diversifying income-generating projects to increase the resilience of those living in the camp.

Catherine has established herself as a smallholder farmer to supplement the assistance she receives from WFP and UNHCR.

“I miss home, but Zimbabwe has become our new home,” she says. “The only possessions I carried from Rwanda are my farming skills and I’m glad I can use them here, they help me to earn an income which supplements the money we get from WFP.”

Cathrine in her potato field

[quote|“I miss home, but Zimbabwe has become our new home,” she says. “The only possessions I carried from Rwanda are my farming skills and I’m glad I can use them here, they help me to earn an income which supplements the money we get from WFP.”]

WFP, UNHCR  and Goal International have provided some 400 refugee households with farming inputs on small plots of land provided by the Government of Zimbabwe. Each household has 500 square metres under irrigation. They grow bananas, sugar beans, and potatoes. In total, the camp has 25 hectares of irrigated land. Refugees are assisted every year with vegetable seed packs so they can grow an assortment of produce. There are also poultry and piggery projects in the camp.

Catherine is glad that her children are being educated and well looked after in Zimbabwe.

More than 3,000 Mozambican refugees have arrived in Zimbabwe since May 2016, adding to the already considerable numbers of refugees in the country.   



More than 7,500 refugees are now living  in Zimbabwe’s Tongogara refugee camp in Chipinge. Without adequate and timely assistance, these refugees will not be able to sustain themselves. A partnership between the World Food Programme and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has helped them persevere and rebuild their shattered lives.

11/22/2016 - 14:35
Responding to Emergencies

Robert Aligo is one of thousands of people seeking refuge in Uganda after renewed fighting began in South Sudan in July.  The 19-year-old former student escaped heavy fighting in the town of Kaya and headed for Uganda, walking for 18 hours through the night to reach safety at the Keri border point.   From there he was transported by a UN bus to the Bidi Bidi Refugee settlement, which three months ago did not even exist and is now home to over 220,000 people.

“I heard heavy gunfire in the night and I had no choice but to run,” Robert said as he waits in the verification line at Bidi Bidi. “A friend of mine, a security operative, had told me earlier that 12 people had been murdered. I left my brother and my two step sisters behind, moving with nothing, just these clothes and my life. I am here so that I can be safe. Staying in (South) Sudan means death.”

Robert said he came by himself. “I met these two (two young men standing ahead of him in the line) in Keri and they are now my brothers, although I don’t yet know their names. What I need now is food because I have not eaten a full meal since I left Kaya.”

Life-saving support 
WFP is provides high-energy biscuits to refugees when they arrive at the border with Uganda, along with cooked meals in the transit and reception centres while they wait to be settled on their new plots of land.  Ready-to-use supplementary foods are also provided to treat cases of acute malnutrition at these centres. Once families relocate to the settlements, WFP provides them with monthly rations of staple foods, including cereals, pulses, vegetable oil fortified with vitamin A, iodized salt, and a nutrient rich mix for porridge to prevent micronutrient deficiencies. Cases of acute malnutrition continue to receive supplementary rations of specialized nutritional products at the settlements’ health centres, until they have recovered.

However, WFP is at a precarious point in its refugee response as it is faced with a funding shortfall of US$57 million for the next six months.  The scale of the recent influx is unprecedented, with more than 340,000 people arriving from South Sudan since July.  Eighty-six percent of the new refugees are women and children, with few or no resources to start their lives anew in Uganda.

Uganda now hosts more refugees than any other country in Africa.  At the beginning of the year, WFP was assisting 380,000 refugees in Uganda; by October that number had grown by 70 percent to 650,000 refugees. The food requirements are substantial - US$12 million per month - almost double the monthly requirement prior to the recent influx. However, resources mobilized by WFP have not kept pace with the influx.

Rose, a 28 year old mother of four, is another of the refugees that fled the Kaya fighting. She walked all the way to Uganda with her four children aged between eight and two-and-a half years.

“I fled Kaya in August and moved with my children to a nearby town called Yondu. But when fighting started again in Kaya, there was panic in Yondu and other nearby villages. People were running, saying people had been killed. I picked up my children and just a small bag with their clothes and we and our neighbours began to walk to Uganda,” said Rose.

"A food shortage is the worse thing we can face"

Rose wishes she had a way to go back and bring the food she left behind, cassava, maize and beans, so she could sell some of if to get money.  All she came with was the equivalent of less than 50 US Cents.

“When I reached Uganda, my children and I were tired,” Rose says. “We received food from WFP and I felt strong again. The children, as you can see, are now able to play. We are now waiting for the evening (WFP) meal to be served.”

The Government’s co-ordinator of the Bidi Bidi settlement response, Robert Baryamwesiga explained how on some days they received up to 6,000 refugees in one day.  

“It does not matter how well we coordinate the response to the influx if we lack the resources,” Baryamwesiga said. “Food is one of the most important needs here and it is not a one-off. You have to provide it every day as the refugees need to be fed. A food shortage is the worst thing we can face. It can cause instability and insecurity and expose children, women and humanitarian workers among them to danger,” he added.

WFP’s refugee operation this year is funded by Canada, the European Commission, Ireland, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and multilateral donors. The top 10 multilateral donors to WFP in Uganda in 2016 (as at 01 November) are: Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy and Finland. 


More than 44,000 South Sudanese refugees arrived in Uganda in the first two weeks of November, bringing the total to 340,000 since July, and there is no indication that the huge influx will slow down soon. At a cost of US$12 million per month for its refugee operation, WFP is overstretched and in urgent need of resources.