Starvation Hits African Refugees amid Covid-19 Pandemic
NEWSMAN, Abuja – The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have warned of an impending hunger and malnutrition among millions of refugees in Africa as COVID-19 impact worsens.
The UNHCR and WFP in a joint statement on Thursday said that the refugees might also be starved due to the dwindling funds of humanitarian aid.
”Refugee populations who were previously able to feed and fend for themselves, including many living in urban areas and those working in the informal economy, are also facing significant challenges” said the Refugee Agency.
“Large numbers have lost their only source of income as work possibilities disappeared due to COVID-19 prevention measures” the statement added.
It explained further that 1.2 billion dollars was needed to care for refugees in 2020, more than half was for operations in Africa, noting that the funds had gravely dwindled, already forcing cuts in food rations, Vanguard reported.
It also stated that WFP was providing food assistance to more than 10 million refugees worldwide as they concerned about the negative impact of reduced assistance on refugees and urged donors in the international community to provide further funding to ensure refugees do not face starvation.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi said that millions of refugees throughout Africa were currently reliant on regular aid to meet their food needs.
Grandi said that in view of the economic
challenges and poor funding occasioned by the unending pandemic, the refugees
needed the assistance of the UN now more than ever.