Maputo — The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that shortage of funds may force it to reduce, or even halt, food aid to people displaced from their homes by the terrorist attacks in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.
A Wednesday press release from WFP says that it is currently assisting 400,000 people who are victims of the conflict. Some of these people are in safe areas of Cabo Delgado, while others have fled across the provincial boundaries into Nampula or Niassa.
WFP provides them with a monthly family food basket of 50 kilos of grain, five litres of vegetable oil and 10 kilos of dried beans and lentils.
The release adds that "WFP also provides cash-based assistance where local markets are functioning, allowing families to choose which basic needs to meet (food items and hygiene kits) through redeeming value vouchers of 3,600 meticais (equivalent to about 50 US dollars) per month".
It says the food basket "ensures at least 81% of the daily kilocalorie needs of displaced families, and contributes to preventing already traumatized and vulnerable families from falling victim to exploitation or employing negative coping mechanisms for survival".
But WFP warns that its resources "are stretched" which could lead it to reduce or halt this food aid. "This not only raises concerns around food security and health risks resulting from malnutrition but also could create tensions within host communities", it says.
WFP puts the requirements at 10.5 million US dollars per month to provide food assistance to 750,000 people (500,000 internally displaced people and 250,000 from host communities) affected by the Cabo Delgado conflict.
"To ensure humanitarian food assistance for the next 12 months, WFP needs 132.4 million dollars, of which only 24.4 million have been secured as of late December 2020", the release said. "Without sufficient funding, the food supply will be compromised".