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‘Funding drying up’ — WFP warns of food ration cuts for north-east IDPs

‘Funding drying up’ — WFP warns of food ration cuts for north-east IDPs
October 16
14:06 2021

Chris Nikoi, the West Africa regional director for United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), says the body may soon begin cutting food rations in the north-east.

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Nikoi, in a statement on Saturday, said the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) surpassed two million in September, and as such, ration cuts need to be implemented unless urgent funding is secured. 

He said the cuts are coming at a time when severe hunger reached a five-year high in the country.

He warned that if at least $55 million is not received in the coming weeks, WFP would have no choice but to cut food rations, reduce the number of people it serves and prioritise assistance for only the most vulnerable.

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“Cutting rations means choosing who gets to eat and who goes to bed hungry. We are seeing funding for our life-saving humanitarian work dry up just at the time when hunger is at its most severe,” Nikoi said. 

“Our food assistance is a lifeline for millions whose lives have been upended by conflict and have almost nothing to survive on. We must act now to save lives and avoid disruptions to this lifeline.” 

The WFP director said current food security analysis shows that 4.4 million people in the north-east do not know where their next meal would come from, and over 1 million children are already malnourished.

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He said the greater danger facing persons in the north-east is continued attacks by armed groups and harsh lean season conditions amid an economy dealing with the fallout from the COVID-19. 

Nikoi warned that despite increasing needs, WFP may soon be unable to sustain life-saving operations in the conflict-ridden zone. 

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