The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) welcomed a new €800,000 donation from the European Union ( EU) to help provide food assistance to the majority of food poor refugees and asylum seekers in Malawi, who have been particularly affected by COVID-...
africa, malawi, covid-19
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) welcomed a new €800,000 donation from the European Union ( EU) to help provide food assistance to the majority of food poor refugees and asylum seekers in Malawi, who have been particularly affected by COVID-19 economic consequences.
“We want to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the population of Dzaleka Refugee Camp,” said Mathias Eick, Regional Information Officer for the EU’s Humanitarian Aid Operations. “The pandemic has significantly worsened the situation of refugees and asylum seekers at the camp, where coronavirus cases have already been confirmed. This contribution is an expression of our solidarity with this vulnerable community during these trying times.”
The EU donation will allow WFP to provide cash-based transfers to 41,000 food insecure refugees and asylum seekers hosted at Dzaleka Refugee Camp, preventing them from further falling into poverty. It will also create income opportunities for refugees through a pilot livelihood project involving income-generating activities such as hydroponics, waste management and recycling, and producing soap / face masks in the wake of Covid-19 pandemics.
“We thank the European Union, WFP’s key partner, for stepping in to support refugees and asylum seekers who are facing the threat of COVID-19 on top of so many other challenges,” said Benoit Thiry, WFP Representative in Malawi. “This timely contribution will lessen the impact of the pandemic on these extremely vulnerable groups.”
In May 2019, due to funding shortfalls, WFP was forced to cut by half the food rations it provides at Dzaleka. The new EU contribution will complement other partner resources to allow a full food basket to be given once again. During distributions, WFP Malawi applies strict COVID-19 security measures to minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission among beneficiaries, staff and partners.
Since 2013 the number of refugees in camp Dzaleka has more than doubled. Because of restricted access to arable land or other forms of life in the region, refugees and asylum seekers depend on humanitarian and development assistance from WFP and partner organizations so donor funding such as the EU is vital to alleviating their hunger and economic hardship.