US gives K182m to buy food for refugees in Malawi: WFP require $5.4m over next two years

The World Food Programme (WFP), a largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, says it requires 8,800 metric tons of food, valued at $5.4 million to meet the needs of refugees  in Malawi over the next two years.

The agency announced this Wednesday when the US Ambassador to Malawi, Jeanine Jackson visited Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi’s central district of Dowa on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.

She was accompanied by heads of United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and WFP.

US Ambassador announced that USA has provided $500 000 (about K182 million) for the World Food Programme (WFP) to urgently buy food for about 18 000 refugees currently staying at Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

US Ambassador Jackson : Rescue package
US Ambassador Jackson : Rescue package

The camp is the home to around 18,500 refugees from across central and eastern African countries like Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

WFP feeds more than 90 million in more 70 countries.

The US Ambassador took time to inspect WFP warehouse, containing commodities ready for distribution. She was also taken through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) care and maintenance programmes as well as education facilities at the camp.

“WFP’s programmes are supported by regular contributions from the US government, which has covered over half of WFP’s total requirement for refugee operations since 2007.

“This year, a new US cash contribution of US$500,000 is being used to purchase maize and pulses locally, as a priority for the refugee operation. These essential commodities will be included in WFP rations for the next five months, until December 2013,” reads the statement jointly issued by WFP and UNHCR on Thursday.

The statement further says WFP, UNHCR and other agencies are committed to seeking the economic self-reliance of the refugee population, as well as solutions including voluntary repatriation, resettlement and local integration.

This year, UNHCR has plans to repatriate around 80 refugees to their countries of origin and resettle about 700 individuals in their respective countries.

Besides, providing food assistance to refugees, WFP also support people living near Dzaleka Camp especially during the lean season through food-for-assets activities, which are aimed at combating high levels of degradation in the area.

For more than two decades now, Malawi has hosted refugees who escaped political instability and social unrest in their respective countries.

WFP and UNHCR also support asylum seekers at the Karonga transit centre in the north of the country, some 1,500 kilometers from eastern DRC.

A recent upsurge in violence in DRC has prompted around 600 new arrivals crossing into Malawi each month, according to WFP and UNHCR.

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