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50,000 Karimojong face starvation after WFP suspends food aid

The life of several Karimojong hangs in balance as World Food Programme suspends food supply amidst poisoning allegations (FILE PHOTO)

ABIM – Over 50,000 Karimojong face starvation following the suspension of food distribution by World Food Programme (WFP) in the region.

On Saturday, the UN food agency announced that it was suspending the distribution of food in Uganda after two died and over 100 others were hospitalized following the eating of Super Cereal porridge, which is believed to have been poisoned.

And now it has emerged that as a result, many Karimojong are facing starvation should the distribution not resume and should government not intervene.

Mr Mohamed Satti, the head of UN WFP programme in Karamoja, said the rate of malnutrition in Karamoja will double should government delay to address the food issues.

“We have been treating a total of 55,000 mothers and children who are malnourished in the whole region and I am sure the rate of malnutrition in the region will double if the porridge issues are not addressed urgently,” he said.

He said Karamoja region is still facing a challenge of ending malnutrition which is currently standing at 35% among the children.

According to Mr. Satti, WFP will resume the distribution of the highly nutritious food for malnourished children after investigations are done on the porridge flour that caused illness to the people.

He explained that the porridge flour that UN WFP distributed to the malnourished mother and their children and later turned to be dangerous is called “Super Cereal porridge plus produced and parked from Turkey,” and that it is different from Super Cereal porridge plus.

Families that prepared and ate the porridge developed health complications and were admitted with various symptoms including high fever and mental confusion.

The incident was first reported in Amudat District where one person died before another one died in Lotome in Napak district.

Similar cases were reported in Napak District whereby 50 people were admitted to Lotome health centre III in Lotome Sub-county before the number hot up to 107.

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