UN warns of hunger among refugees in Malawi

The United Nations (UN) has warned that about 35,000 refugees and asylum seekers who sought shelter in Malawi will face hunger unless funds are made available.

According to statement by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the World Food Program Malawi (WFP) the development is as a result of limited access to arable land and other means of making a living which forces them to highly depend on food aid from other countries.

The UNHCR and WFP in conjunction with the Malawi government supports over 36,000 refugees and asylum seekers in the country, of which most of them are from the Democratic Republic of Congo- DRC.

The statement said the displaced, will be affected by hunger due to suspension of food ratios which are expected in the month of January which is the peak of the lean season between harvests  following lack of additional funding support.

UNHCR Malawi representative, Monique Ekoko said the crisis will have devastating impacts on the health and nutrition of the thousands families unless more support is immediately made available.

The statement highlighted that although the two bodies are engaging with the Malawi government to find lasting solutions to the plight of the refugees through the comprehensive refugee response framework and profiling vulnerabilities to determine appropriate support, food assistance is greatly and urgently needed.

Meanwhile, the UNHCR and WFP have urged the international community to support them with 4.2 million US Dollars to assist the refugees in 2019.

The WFP provides over 90 percent of food consumed by refugees living in the country.

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