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IDPs refuse to receive reduced food package

January 25, 2013

PESHAWAR, Jan 24: The World Food Programme reduced wheat flour quota for internally displaced persons from 80 kilograms to 40 kilograms owing to shortfall in donations, officials said.

Reduction in monthly food ration quota has affected around 908,000 people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) who have been rendered homeless owing to violence in their hometowns and villages.

The displaced people in Jalozai camp, Nowshera district have refused to receive 40 kilograms of flour. “IDPs have refused to accept the reduced quantity of flour because their needs have been increased,” said Haji Gulbatt, a member of the camp council in Jalozai. He said that relief agencies had also reduced quantity of biscuits, provided to the displaced children as food supplement.

The UN agency, which depends exclusively on donations, requires $136 million to continue food distribution operation for violence-stricken people for 2013. The agency spokesman, Amjad Jamal, said that the organisation had received only $28 million for feeding IDPs. He said that the agency was facing $108 million shortfall.

“No funding, no operation. WFP will suspend food distribution if it does not get required funds for the current year because it is totally depending on voluntary donations,” he told Dawn. The UN agency, he said, had convened a donors’ meeting in Islamabad on January 29 to raise funds for IDPs.

Mr Jamal said that government of Pakistan had been requested to donate 150,000 metric tonnes of wheat to continue the food ration supply for IDPs. He said that the agency needed $159 million for its overall operations in Pakistan for the ongoing year.

Shortfall in donations is frequently hampering distribution of food among the IDPs, largely residing in and off camps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Mr Jamal said that scarcity of funds had also affected relief operations in Sindh and Balochistan provinces. —Bureau Report