Over 40 000 Malawi refugees and Asylum Seekers Facing Starvation – UN

Refugees (File photo)

LILONGWE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Malawi has expressed concern over the worsening food situation facing over 40,000 refugees and asylum-seekers following a cut in the amount of food assistance they receive.

WFP urgently requires US$1.7 million to resume full rations from August to December 2019.

In May this year, WFP was forced to reduce by half the food rations it provides to refugees and asylum seekers due to insufficient funding.

“WFP is appealing to the donor community to step forward to prevent these vulnerable people having to literally go without food,” said WFP Malawi Representative, Benoit Thiry.

“We appeal for their continued backing, especially at this critical moment. We also call on the Government of Malawi and all concerned parties to provide a way out of this situation for refugees.”

The desperate situation has been triggered by the flow of refugees into Malawi for more than two decades following political instability and social unrest mainly in some parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in Burundi.

From January to July 2019 alone, about 2,000 new arrivals have been registered.

Malawi hosts 40,000 refugees most of whom depend on food assistance from WFP and other humanitarian partners.

A Joint Vulnerability Profiling Exercise (JVPE) conducted by WFP and UNHCR in November 2018 showed that eight out of ten refugees in Dzaleka Camp are highly vulnerable and depend entirely on food assistance to meet all their food and other essential needs.

A baseline survey on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) conducted in June 2019 showed that women and girls opt to engage in survival and transactional sex in exchange for in-kind and monetary assistance.

Source: WFP, Additional Reporting by AllNetAfrica