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Concern warns WFP cuts to food rations are causing increased malnutrition
Severe cuts in monthly World Food Programme (WFP) rations to some of the world’s poorest people, in response to serious under-funding of its work, is driving up malnutrition rates in communities, Concern Worldwide Chief Executive David Regan warned today.
Speaking ahead of a meeting with WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain in Dublin today, Mr Regan warned that the impact of the funding cuts could not be under-estimated, as they came at a time when the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance was also rising sharply.
The global humanitarian budget is currently just 30% funded by the international community, he said.
Mr Regan pointed to Concern’s experience in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where the WFP-funded General Food Assistance monthly rations were cut from $12 to $8 earlier this year. “As a lead nutrition partner in the camp, Concern is working to mitigate the worst impact of these cuts but we are already seeing rising malnutrition rates among the children and pregnant and breast feeding mothers attending our clinics,” he said.
Impact of Cuts
“Within Cox’s Bazar, humanitarians are being forced to shift from focusing on the prevention of undernutrition, to working to keep people alive.”
Concern has a long track record with the WFP and is currently working with the UN agency in Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan.
Global humanitarian needs rose sharply this year due to conflict in countries such as Sudan, DRC and Haiti, and natural disasters such as the Turkiye-Syria earthquake, and severe flooding in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Burundi.
Mr Regan said that, while conflict was the greatest cause of humanitarian need, climate change and climate-related crises were impacting food production globally. Mr Regan praised the WFP’s increasing advocacy on climate change and climate-related issues.
“As humanitarian actors face increasingly complex obstacles and challenges in reaching communities with uninterrupted and adequate aid, it’s essential that UN agencies – especially the WFP – strengthen their partnership arrangements with national and international non-government organisations,” he said.
Mr Regan will emphasise to the WFP the need for humanitarian actors to work in cooperation and use available resources in a more efficient way.
“UN agencies and NGOs cannot afford to work in silos or to put the ambition of one agency ahead of the greater humanitarian responsibility,” he said. The collective goal of WFP and its partners is to support those in greatest humanitarian need, he added.
For media queries contact Eamon Timmins, Media Relations Manager, Concern Worldwide, at 087 9880524 or email@example.com
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