Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Zambian refugees have aid cut


Sometimes I note that Mugabe is not the worst thing that could happen...and that civil war would be worse...

In Zambia, there is drought and famine...and they have 80 000 refugees... most from civil wars in various parts of Africa....

Rations for more than 80,000 refugees in Zambia are being halved from Sunday because of a lack of international aid.
The World Food Programme says the cuts could result in increasing malnutrition, prostitution and crime.
Zambia was a haven of stability during wars in the region and attracted tens of thousands of refugees.
Peace in Angola meant that many could go home, but the Democratic Republic of Congo is still unstable.
Aid fatigue appears to have now set in, and appeals from the United Nations have met with a poor response.
"We're appealing to the international community not to forget the refugees in Zambia," said Jo Woods from the World Food Programme, which supplies five camps for Angolan and Congolese refugees.
"It's a critical time right now. Not only do we have refugees on half rations, but we have a drought and a food crisis in the country, where you have neighbouring villages struggling to meet their own food needs. This also impacts on the camp."
Drought has meant over a million Zambians are now in need of food aid.
Few villagers living around the camps can now help their neighbours. This is a time of real hardship, and cutting refugee rations will put an additional strain on these vulnerable people.

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