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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

ETHIOPIA: WFP appeals for aid to feed refugees

ADDIS ABABA, 31 July 2003 (IRIN) - Food for tens of thousands of refugees in Ethiopia will run out in three months unless urgently needed supplies are provided, the UN’s World Food Programme warned on Thursday.

WFP said food aid for 130,000 refugees, who fled fighting in Sudan and Somalia, would dry up by October.

It also also warned that without adequate food aid, a massive repatriation scheme to help Somali refugees return home could grind to a halt.

"Generous donor support is the clear reason for the refugees’ good nutritional status,” said Benedict Fultang, WFP's acting Country Director for Ethiopia.

"A major funding shortage and the resulting break in food supplies will most certainly lead to widespread malnutrition, and put at risk the lives of refugees, especially the women and children."

WFP says it desperately needs US $5.3 million to continue feeding refugees until March 2004.

"The refugees cannot rely on the host population to feed them just at a time when more than 12.5 million people in Ethiopia are threatened by starvation due to a severe drought," added Fultang.


Themes: (IRIN) Food Security, (IRIN) Refugees/IDPs



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