Conflict and insecurity are the dominant drivers of crisis response in Eastern Africa, with conflict driven displacement driving up to 80% of WFP’s resource needs of RBN. The other key drivers include economic crisis, natural disasters such as droughts and floods, as well as outbreaks of disease.
East Africa hosts one of the highest numbers of displaced populations in the world; with a total refugee population of around 3.3 million and 6.4 million Internally Displaced People (IDPs) as of 30 September 2020, originating mostly from four countries: South Sudan, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi. The Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) has been launched in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
While the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases amongst refugees in the region have been minimal so far. However, prevention and containment measures have inhibited the livelihoods and income generating opportunities of refugees.
This update presents an overview of WFP’s refugee operations in Eastern Africa as COVID-19 continues to spread across the region. It highlights some of the innovative measures taken by WFP and partners to not only serve refugees better but also draw attention to critical funding shortfalls across WFP’s refugee operations and reduced rations being provided to most refugees.
Due to funding constraints, WFP has had to implement ration cuts for refugees in Uganda (30%), Kenya, (40%),
South Sudan (30%), Ethiopia (16%), and Djibouti (23%).
Ration cuts may need to happen in Rwanda as overall shortfalls for the next 6 months are at 61% of the requirements. Neither Somalia nor Burundi have ration cuts in place, but Burundi is missing super cereal.
Refugees in camps are highly dependent on assistance and ration cuts invariably result in increased malnutrition, stunting in children and other vulnerable groups and adoption of negative coping strategies that have protection implications.