The Department for International Development (DFID) has offered a £1 million (US$1.3 million) contribution to help cater for the feeding of refugees in Tanzania.
The fund which is under management of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), is expected to in the short term avoid cutting rations destined for refugees.
The UK government support still leaves a huge funding deficit because the WFP has said that it needs $7.6 million to cater for Burundian refugees in Tanzania adequately till the end of 2016.
WFP had planned to cut rations in October for nearly a quarter of a million refugees, due to lack of funds for its refugee operations in Tanzania. That situation has been averted by the availability of these funds.
What Vel Gnanendran, DFID Head of Cooperation had to say
“The UK joins the UN and the international community in supporting the outstanding generosity of the Government and people of Tanzania in welcoming those who are seeking safety from the violence in Burundi and the Great Lakes.
“We are therefore providing an immediate, additional contribution of £1 million to support WFP in providing food to the increasing number of refugees arriving in Tanzania. This brings our total contribution to WFP to £6.5 million since the crisis began.”
What Michael Dunford, WFP Tanzania Country Representative had to say
“WFP is very grateful to DFID for their contribution at this critical period. While additional funds are still urgently needed to meet refugees’ needs through the end of the year, this significant contribution is greatly appreciated.”
The DFID intervention in Tanzania
The WFP distributes life-saving food to some 236,000 refugees living in three camps in Kigoma Region in north-west Tanzania. Refugees are dependent on this assistance, which includes maize meal, pulses, vegetable oil, salt and a nutrient-rich porridge blend.
In addition to catering for refugees, WFP provides hot meals at transit and reception centres and camp health care facilities. In the refugee camps, WFP also assists pregnant and nursing women, as well as moderately malnourished children under the age of five, with micro-nutrient powders or a fortified porridge blend.
It is estimated that hundreds of Burundian refugees on a daily basis are arriving at the Tanzanian border, amid continued unrest in their country.
WFP request for more funding
Despite largely depending on donor support, the WFP says with the increasing influx of refugees, it is experiencing a critical shortfall in funding.
It has therefore appealed for more contributions in order to adequately cater for the food and nutrition security of refugees. To keep refugee operations running until the end of the year, WFP needs US$7.6 million. A total of US$ 63.6 million is needed until August 2017.
The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty, building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for all of us which is firmly in the UK’s national interest.