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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Nyarugusu Refugees Get Hefty Support

LOCAL growers of beans have benefited from a World Food Programme (WFP) purchase of 400 metric tonnes of legumes under the Japanese support to refugees in Nyarugusu camp in Kigoma Region.

During a brief handover ceremony of 91 metric tonnes of vegetable oil at Dar es Salaam port, WFP Representative Richard Ragan said that the donation will contribute greatly towards the food and nutrition security of some 70,000 refugees living at the camp.

"Among the 70,000 are 14,000 children under the age of five, 3,150 pregnant and nursing women and 1,750 patients receiving medical care," he said.

Mr Ragan described the contribution as crucial to the health and well-being of the refugees and that from the money, WFP will purchase Super Cereal, maize, beans and oil to be included in the monthly general food distribution and nutrition activities.

He said that the assistance from Japan would also help boost the local economy through the WFP Purchase for Progress initiative.

In 2013, some 10 million US dollars (over 16bn/-) worth of food were procured in the country for the refugees operation and WFP Programmes around the world.

The Japanese Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Masaki Okada, said that his government has been a close supporter to the refugee population in the country and pledged to continue.

"As a response to the appeal by WFP, the Japanese government has contributed 1.4 million US dollars to implement its refugee programme in Nyarugusu camp.

The government's response reflects shared concerns amongst the people of Japan about the impact of conflicts," he explained, noting that Japan will support the programme to the end of the year.

A total of 91 metric tonnes of vegetable oil was handed over while some 367 metric tonnes of corn soya blend, 400 metric tonnes of beans and 444 metric tonnes of maize have already been delivered to Nyarugusu camp.

The Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Mathias Chikawe, said that as the world commemorated World Refugee Day, it was noted with concern the escalating violence and conflicts that continue to embrace the generation, pushing refugee and displaced numbers to unprecedented levels, unseen in these times.

Mr Chikawe said that at a time when the global economy is still battling with the effects of he yesteryear recession doldrums, global assistance to refugee programmes had been hit hard.