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Japan donates to feed refugees as crisis grows

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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), in a report released today, said a donation from Japan will feed refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR). Japan's donation of US $ 2.7 million will provide cereals, pulses and Plumpy’Sup for the CAR refugees in the Republic of Congo.

The food is part of a regional mission to feed hundreds of thousands who fled the war-torn CAR. The refugees have arrived in the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Chad. WFP relies entirely on voluntary donations for all its missions.

The Plumpy'Sup which will be provided from Japan's donation is critical for preventing child malnutrition. Plumpy'Sup is an enriched peanut paste designed to treat malnutrition in children under 5 years of age. Small children will suffer lasting physical and mental damage, or death, if malnutrition is left untreated.

Reports from WFP indicate that malnutrition is a growing crisis for refugees across the region. In Cameroon, a WFP assessment team found, "34 percent of refugees and 16 percent of local populations amongst the households participating in the survey are food insecure (severe and moderate)."

Japan also made a recent donation to the refugee mission in Chad and for war victims displaced within the Central African Republic. However, the entire regional mission is still facing critical funding shortfalls. WFP is struggling to provide aid with food stocks low in many areas.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, food will run out for 35,000 refugees unless new donations are received. WFP is also facing funding shortages for the mission inside the Central African Republic itself. WFP reports low stocks of Plumpy'Sup in the CAR. Until peace can be forged, the hunger crisis there will continue to grow.

WFP is facing large humanitarian missions in a number of conflict-devastated countries. Funding is low for many of these missions. A donation page has been set up at the WFP web site.