KIGALI – The United Nations World Food Programme today welcomed a contribution of CAD 1 million (US$ 794,000) from the Government and people of Canada to provide humanitarian food and nutrition assistance to 135,000 Congolese and Burundian refugees in camps in Rwanda.
This contribution comes at a critical time when WFP general food assistance for refugees has been reduced by a staggering 60 percent from March 2021 because of critical funding shortfalls.
“This generous contribution from the Government and people of Canada will help prevent an even deeper reduction in food assistance for refugees in the coming months,” said Edith Heines, WFP Rwanda Representative and Country Director.
WFP food assistance for refugees in Rwanda is provided as cash-based transfers. This enables women and men in camps to buy the food that best meets their family’s needs, maximizing their choice and dietary diversity. A 2018 WFP study found that providing cash also empowered refugee women, as they felt having cash assistance increased their sense of dignity and self-respect.
This contribution will allow WFP to maintain full rations of targeted nutrition support for 51,000 refugees identified as particularly vulnerable, such as children under the age of two, schoolchildren and pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as people living with HIV and tuberculosis patients under treatment.
Despite this generous contribution, WFP still requires an additional US$9.3 million to reinstate full rations for the rest of 2021. If additional funding is not received in the coming months, deeper ration reductions will be necessary.