Tuesday, February 1

Refugees Steal Food

There are an estimated 100,000 refugees -- mainly from the DRC and Angola -- in western Zambia. According to the UN, some refugees have been sneaking out of the camps to loot crops from nearby fields. Local residents have started complaining, because they are afraid for their safety.

It's no wonder the refugees have resorted to theft: the WFP claims it had to halve the food rations provided to refugees between October and December. As a result of donor promises, the WFP restored full food rations in January. However, according to WFP Country Director David Stevenson, donor promises have failed to materialize, and the WFP may be forced to halve the rations again in March. As a result, there is a concern that this could lead to increased instability in the region, as well as inhibit voluntary repatriation.