(IRIN) – An increasing caseload of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is stretching food and non-food resources in western Uganda, say humanitarian officials.
“The severity and duration of the crisis in the DRC is stretching the ability of many humanitarian agencies to meet the needs of people affected,” Lydia Wamala, a UN World Food Programme (WFP) public information and donor relations officer in Uganda, told IRIN by email.
Fighting erupted in eastern DRC in early 2012, pitting the M23 mutineers against other foreign and Congolese militias as well as the DRC army. Mass population displacement has occurred as a result.
WFP in Uganda has reduced food rations for some of the DRC refugees due to a lack of funding. WFP in Uganda, said Wamala, has a US$3.8 million funding shortfall for the rest of its operations in 2012, forcing it to prioritize its limited resources according to acuteness of need. At present, priority has been given to new DRC arrivals, who are receiving full food rations; long-term DRC refugees have had theirs reduced