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Nigerian refugees’ woes worsen as agencies cut food rations

28 November 2016, 18:34

Abuja- Thousands of Nigerian refugees in neighbouring Chad are bearing the brunt of food insecurity, malnutrition while children are suffering anaemia.

There are an estimated 5 000 Nigerians in Chad, who have fled the Boko Haram terror group.

They are among 100 000 that have sought refuge in the country of over 13 million people.

In a further setback, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) disclosed lack of resources had forced it to reduce food rations for refugees to less than half.

Also read: Anenih reveals why Buhari jailed him

Mary-Ellen McGroarty, WFP Chad Country Director, said they were however exploring, together with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, ways to link food and non-food assistance to longer-term resilience projects that would benefit both refugees and local communities.

WFP is also reviewing the option of introducing cash assistance, which would help diversify refugees’ meals and stimulate local markets.

In the short term, the joint assessment with UNHCR highlights the need for additional resources to restore the basic food basket that will ensure the refugees’ physical wellbeing and prevent their nutritional situation form deteriorating further.

“We must retain the protection character of our refugee operation and the social contract between UNHCR and the Government,” said UNHCR Representative in Chad Jose Antonio Canhandula.

- CAJ News

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