UNHCR to suspend food rations in Malawi

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 The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is sounding an emergency call for food rations to cater for refugees in the country.

The UN agency has announced a suspension of food rations from January, next year due to a lack of funding.

In a statement, UNHCR representative to Malawi, Monique Okoko, indicates that they are in need of $4.2 million to provide food to 35,000 refugees and asylum seekers in the country.

These are people who have fled political instability and social unrest in their respective countries.

Most of them are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, but Malawi has received more than 3000 new arrivals since January this year.

Ekoko therefore fears that the suspension of food rations will risk reversing gains made to date in tackling malnutrition among the refugees.

She highlights that due to the limited access to arable land and other means of making a living the refugees largely dependent on food aid.

Meanwhile, UNHCR, the World Food Programme and the government of Malawi are discussing possible sustainable strategies of supporting the refugees.

Most of those of concern to UNHCR live in Dzaleka refugee camp, which has a population of nearly 34,000, near the capital Lilongwe. More than 3,000 Mozambican asylum-seekers are in Luwani refugee camp, in the south.




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