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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 January 2006, 17:32 GMT
Food aid cut for Zambia refugees
By Martin Plaut
BBC Africa analyst

Angolan child refugee
Angolans remain in the camps despite the peace in their country
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.

'Critical'

"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.


SEE ALSO:
Zambia declares a food disaster
21 Nov 05 |  Africa
Can aid do more harm than good?
27 Aug 05 |  Africa


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