More than 1.2 million refugees in Uganda will see their UN food and cash rations reduced in February due to lack of funding from international donors, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.

WFP spokesperson Tomson Phiri said this in a news conference in Geneva.

The UN aid agency, which received this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, has currently secured only half of the money it needs in Uganda, which hosts one of Africa’s largest refugee populations.

The reduced rations will only cover 60 per cent of the necessary calorie intake, Phiri said.

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He explained that the WFP immediately needs 95.8 million dollars to avoid this step, which would be its second aid cut in Uganda since April.

Malnourished women, children and elderly refugees face a heightened risk of infections, the WFP warned.

Uganda’s West Nile region, which hosts six refugee settlements, is a COVID-19 hotspot.

Uganda hosts refugees, who have fled from conflicts in the Congo, the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Burundi.