World Food Programme Needs $11 Million To Tackle Food Insecurity In Mauritania | Independent Newspapers Limited
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World Food Programme Needs $11 Million To Tackle Food Insecurity In Mauritania

Posted: Oct 22, 2015 at 5:00 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

The World Food Programme (WFP) says it needs about 11 million dollars to address the rising malnutrition and food insecurity facing nearly one million people in Mauritania.

This is contained in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos by Ertharin Cousin, the Executive Director, WFP.

The statement warned that shortage of funding could have drastic consequences for vulnerable Mauritians and Malian refugees.

“Mauritania has borne the brunt of recurring food crises, chronic malnutrition and instability spilling over from neighbouring Mali.

“We are especially concerned about the serious malnutrition situation affecting 14 per cent of Mauritania’s children under five,’’ the statement said.

According to the statement, the precarious nature of security in Northern Mali has made it expedient for nearly 50,000 refugees to seek humanitarian assistance to meet their food needs.

It added that the shortage of funding this year had led to refugees receiving reduced food rations at times and noted that it was only about half their nutritional needs.

“WFP appeals for support so that the Malian refugees do not miss out on life-saving assistance.

“We know that the resources of donor countries are stretched by so many emergencies around the world.

“But WFP is committed to continue to provide vital food and nutrition assistance to all Malian refugees and more than half a million Mauritanians in the grips of food insecurity and malnutrition,’’ it said.

It said that with the imminent resumption of schools, the WFP was preparing to provide nutritious, hot meals to more than 150,000 children across the country.

The statement explained that the meals would serve as a lifeline for children as many parents struggled to provide two daily meals for their families.

It, however, noted that without urgent support, the WFP had sufficient resources only for two months of its 2015/2016 school meal programme.

“WFP estimates that one in four people are food-insecure, meaning they do not have enough food to eat to lead healthy lives.

“Of these, more than 200,000 people are severely food insecure and need immediate life-saving assistance. Female-headed families are the most affected,’’ the statement said.

Quoting from the latest figures from the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates, the statement said that global malnutrition had increased to about 28 per cent.

It mentioned that this figure was almost double the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s critical emergency threshold.