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WFP Cuts Tanzania Refugee Rations

FILE: Refugees from Burundi who fled the ongoing violence and political tension prepare meals at the Nyarugusu refugee camp in western Tanzania, on May 28, 2015.

DAR ES SALAAM - The U.N.'s World Food Program (WFP) said Tuesday that more than 200,000 refugees in Tanzania would receive only half rations from next month because of a lack of donor funding.

Food allocations for refugees in Tanzania - of whom 70 percent are from Burundi and the rest from the Democratic Republic of Congo 9DRC) - have been steadily reduced since 2020, the U.N. World Food Program said in a statement.

In March, these rations, designed to meet the minimum recommended 2,100 kilocalories per person per day, were dropped from 80 percent of that level to 65 percent.

"In June, the ration will go further down to 50 percent, which could leave thousands of refugees struggling to meet their nutritional needs," WFP said, adding that $21 million was urgently needed to avoid further cuts.

The agency's country director for Tanzania, Sarah Gordon-Gibson, said: "WFP is deeply concerned that drastic cuts will force refugees into further vulnerabilities."

It has also cut rations in other parts of East Africa in recent years because of the chronic funding issues, including in disaster-ravaged parts of Ethiopia, South Sudan and Kenya.

WFP announced in March that rations would also be cut for refugees in Burundi and Bangladesh, and appealed for emergency funding to avert further reductions in Yemen.