Refugee food rations cut as war in Ukraine worsens global hunger

Refugees living in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda are being most affected by food ration cuts, the UN says.
Image: Bloomberg

The World Food Programme is cutting food rations for refugees by as much as half, as it faces a hunger crisis worsened by the war in Ukraine and funding constraints.

“We are being forced to make the heart-breaking decision to cut food rations for refugees who rely on us for their survival,” WFP Executive Director David Beasley said Monday in a statement.

Food prices are near a record high after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sharply reduced Kyiv’s key exports of grain and vegetable oil, adding to price pressures from logistics snarl-ups and a rebound in demand after the pandemic. Efforts to let Ukraine resume crucial agricultural exports are moving slowly.

Refugees living in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda are being most affected by food ration cuts, the United Nations agency said. The WFP has already significantly reduced rations to refugees across its operations.

According to the UN refugee agency, 67% of refugees and asylum seekers came from countries with food crises in 2021. With 6 million people fleeing Ukraine this year alone, a lack of access to food may spur millions more people to migrate.

“This, coupled with devastating conflict and climate extremes, is hitting refugees the hardest,” the WFP said.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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