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Sudanese refugees face malnutrition in Ethiopia

6/21/2005 10:29pm

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, June 21, 2005 (PANA) -- Critical malnutrition levels have been found in Bonga and Fugnido camps in western Ethiopia's Gambella Region where an estimated 50,000 Sudanese refugees are living.
According to a nutritional survey by the World Food Programme (WFP), UNHCR and Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) there was a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) of over 20% and Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) of 7% in one part of Fugnido camp.

The highest malnutrition levels were found in the newly established section of the camp at Anuak, says the report released here Tuesday.

A combination of factors have led to this severe situation.

These include delayed delivery of food due to transport problems, insecurity both inside and outside Fugnido camp, and a lack of basic health and safe water services.

In Bonga camp, food deliveries have also been delayed and crops have not been planted due to restrictions in movement outside the camp.

Meanwhile, WFP reported that it was urgently transporting blended food to the camps in order to start blanket supplementary feeding for all children under five, and to continue the supplementary feeding programme for pregnant and nursing women.

The agency was also pre-positioning food stocks for three months ahead of the upcoming long rainy season.

UNHCR is providing water through tankering until basic services were fully implemented in the Anuak section of Fugnido camp.

However, WFP said confirmed contributions for blended food would only cover needs for the next two months. New contributions were needed to avert a further deterioration of the nutritional status in the refugee communities, it added.

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