The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday, June 24, 2021 received $5.3 million from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) to provide humanitarian food assistance to refugees. The food assistance is in the form of cash transfers to over 104,000 Congolese and Burundian refugees in camps across Rwanda.
WFP’s refugee operation has faced severe resourcing constraints in 2021 and WFP was forced to reduce general food assistance rations to 40 percent of a full ration in March and April 2021. Nutrition assistance to protect against malnutrition and school feeding continued without any cuts.
In May, WFP with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, began needs-based targeting of food assistance for refugees who now receive different ration sizes based on vulnerability. Backed by the United States, the step was taken in collaboration with the Ministry of Emergency Management with technical support from a UNHCR-WFP Programme Excellence and Targeting Hub.
“We are grateful for this generous contribution from the American people,” said Edith Heines, WFP Rwanda Representative and Country Director. “This along with contributions from other donors allows WFP to increase rations from 80 percent of a full ration in May to 92 percent in June for the most vulnerable refugees and from 40 to 46 percent for moderately vulnerable refugees.”
Food assistance for refugees in Rwanda is provided in the form of cash-based transfers to allow refugees to purchase the food of their choice from the local markets in and around refugee camps.