News in Brief 6 December 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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Dadaab camp in Kenya, one of three locations in the country where the World Food Programme has been forced to cut rations. Photo: UNHCR

Kenya food rations cut amid funding shortfall

Rations have been cut for hundreds of thousands of refugees sheltering in Kenya because of a lack of funding.

Announcing its decision on Tuesday, the World Food Programme (WFP) said 434,000 individuals in Dadaab, Kakuma and Kalobeyei have been on half rations since the start of the month.

WFP is appealing for donors to come forward with US $ 13.7 million to cover needs until next April.

The agency says that otherwise, the food stocks it has will only last until the end of February.

Lebanon aid chief warns of high risk of tension over refugees

In Lebanon, years of hosting Syrian war refugees have taken their toll on the country, where ongoing stability must not be taken for granted, a top UN official has warned.

Philippe Lazarini, the UN coordinator in the country, cited a "constant high risk of tension" between Lebanese people and Syrians, who make up about one-third of the population.

"It is in the interests not only of the Lebanese but of the region to shield Lebanon from the instability in the rest of the Middle East…There is a risk always that if we loosen our attention this might trigger host-community fatigue, and if we talk about host community fatigue, I mean, social tension will follow."

In a call for funding from the international community, Mr Lazarini said that access to basic services such as water were potential flashpoints between Lebanese people and refugees.

Of the 1.5 million Syrians sheltering in Lebanon, more than half live on less than US $2.4 a day.

Two-thirds of refugee households in Lebanon have also had to resort to child marriage and so-called survival sex to feed themselves, the UN says.

US $1 billion needed for Nigeria’s humanitarian crisis

An appeal has been launched for more than US $1 billion to help communities in Nigeria left with nothing by retreating Boko Haram extremists.

Needs are greatest in three states: Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, as the UN's Deputy Aid Chief in Nigeria, Peter Lundberg, explained:

"This is ultimately a protection crisis, a protection crisis related to the effects of the conflict, but it's rapidly turned into a food security and a nutrition crisis. And we have an opportunity to address the needs; if do them now and if we get adequate resources to do it now, we can actually stop something quite terrible from happening; and we want to avoid that at any cost."

Around 8.5 million people are in dire need of food, shelter and other basic services in the country's north-east.

The full extent of their plight has only been discovered as the Nigerian military continues to take back control of the region from Boko Haram insurgents.

Without help, the UN fears a food crisis affecting millions of people, as the conflict and risk of unexploded improvised devices have prevented farmers from planting crops for a third year in a row.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 2’50″


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