Japan has provided funding to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to help feed Libya’s new poor – those now unable to afford sufficient food either because of having had to flee their homes, or income having dried up, jobs gone or rising prices finally putting staple goods beyond their means.
It has agreed to give $700,000 to provide rations which the organisation says will help feed 80,000 people in the country for a month.
The WFP has appealed for another $8.5 million to continue its work over the next six months. In 2017, it hopes to support 175,000 people to access food.
“Over one million people are suffering from displacement and major food shortages in Libya,” WFP Libya director Wagdi Othman said, thanking Japan for the first contribution it has made to WFP for Libya.
Each ration pack provides a family of five with a one-month supply of rice, pasta, flour, chickpeas, vegetable oil, sugar and tomato paste.
Priority is given to the most vulnerable families, especially internally displaced people, returnees and refugees, but also households headed by unemployed women, according to the WFP.
The organisation alleges that the financial situation is so dire for some families they have resorted to extreme measures such as skipping meals, taking children out of school or cutting healthcare expenses.