The UN warns that the pandemic will exacerbate refugees’ food shortages in Africa

Refugees in Africa are at increased risk of acute malnutrition, wastage, and anemia, due to a cascade of challenges that now include the global coronavirus pandemic that has skyrocketed food prices, hindered supply chains, and complicated income according to the United Nations.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Program (WFP) have teamed up to warn that if no action is taken, the situation will worsen in the coming months. In the Ethiopian refugee camps, 62 percent of children already suffer from critical anemia.

In April the WFP had to reduce the rations offered in the Bidibidi camp in Uganda, which are considered one of the largest in the world due to a lack of funds, by 30 percent, while in Cameroon the cut reached 50 percent. One hundred in May and June for Central African refugees, and Nigerian rations are expected to be lowered in July.

The UN warns that the pandemic will exacerbate refugees’ food shortages in Africa
The UN warns that the pandemic will exacerbate refugees’ food shortages in Africa

For many refugees, humanitarian aid is the only way to meet the most basic needs in a context where few can afford to keep pace with price increases in recent months. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, basic products have risen by 15 percent, while in markets near Rwandan refugee camps, food has increased by 27 percent last year – compared to 40 percent in April 2018–.

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