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Funding shortages threaten WFP operations

The World Food Programme's (WFP) aid operations in nine countries of eastern Africa - affecting a total of 10 million people - are being threatened due to funding shortages, the UN agency said in a recent press statement. It listed the affected countries as Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Burundi and Rwanda. Furthermore, climatic factors and political unrest had increased the need for food aid in the region. Emergency operations in Sudan were described as "living hand-to-mouth", with pledges often being made at the last moment. As a result, the agency was often unable to deliver food aid "to the right people at the right time". "In Sudan there is the problem of a shortage of funds, combined with the issue of security and flight denials," WFP spokeswoman Laura Melo told IRIN. Last month, 355,000 people were affected by flight denials, she added. In Uganda, recent attacks by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army had resulted in WFP having to meet 100 percent of the food needs of the internally displaced people (IDPs), whose numbers had increased by 200,000. Until recently, WFP had been providing 30 percent of food needs for a total of 490,000 IDPs. In Ethiopia, WFP had to borrow food from its school feeding programme to cover needs in the northeast pastoralist region of Afar, where the livelihoods of 1.2 million people were "under threat". A total of 5.9 million people required emergency food aid in Ethiopia, WFP said.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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