Uganda refugees face shattering consequences as food supplies have been cut to half by the World Food Programme. The conflict in South Sudan has seen many take refuge in the already grief stricken Uganda, and the World Food Programme is finding it difficult to provide them with the population showing an astronomical rise. The South Sudan conflict is yet to be resolved, and the situation is expected to turn worse with time.
The World Food Programme has pointed out at the delayed funding as the reason of cutting food supplies. The conflict has shut down food supplies through the border area making the distribution highly irregular. Instead of conjuring up cereals and other edibles, Uganda is resorting back to money handed out to refugees as the Government is citing the prospect of procuring, storing, and distribution of cereals far more time consuming as explained by WFP Director for Uganda, El Khidir Daloum.
More than 20,000 people protested in front of the officials of Prime Minister’s Office. The refugees were asked to keep patience and act accordingly by the refugee desk officer Titus Jogo in Adjumani. The International refugee Rights Initiative, Andie Lambe has termed the situation as temporary, and said that the Uganda Government is doing its bit by providing money in place of ration needed, which could be looked as a temporary solution.
The WFP has also made sure that the new arrivals and vulnerable households will not partake in this. The situation turned worse as the rumor of complete withdrawal of food supplies were circulated as soon as the WFP made its announcement. The chaotic situation saw a vociferous protest emerge out as 86% of the refugee population comprises of children and women.
The numbers of refugees taking shelter in Uganda is termed as a historic case in Uganda where one million people have sought refuge in a short period of time by Francisca Vigaud-Walsh of Refugees International. Praising Uganda and its humanitarian partners, Francisca has complimented Uganda’s habitability and the ability to secure a safe harbor for the refugees. She added that the alarming rate of refugees taking shelter has overpowered the humanitarian providers, and it is getting difficult to keep up with it.
The cutting of rations supply has affected Eastern Africa in May as well where 50% of the supply was cut due to lack of funding. An estimated amount of $167 million is needed by the end of the year to provide adequate funding, but only a meager $30 million has been donated till September. Daloum provided a staggering statistic of shortage faced by the WFP.
The Uganda refugees are allotted $20 million to feed, but Daloum expects a $50-70 million deficit. Yoweri Musevani, the President of Uganda and Antonio Guterres had hosted a summit in aid to the South Sudan refugees and proposed to acquire $674 million by 2017. However, only 21% of it has been collected so far furthering the bridge between the required and acquired sum of money. The WFP and Uganda Government are looking for a temporary fix although there seems to be huge problem looming over the refugees in the long run.
Article by Sushmoy.