There was a lot of excitement after Refugees in Rhino Camp settlement in Arua and Madi Okollo districts received their CSB+ (Corn Soya Blend) food relief from (PAG) in April 2020.
PAG secured 20 tones of corn soya blend plus flour which was distributed to a total of 2, 550 refugees with moderate acute malnutrition problem.
The consignment was secured with support from Emergency Relief and Development Oversees, a development arm of PAG of Canada and Canadian Food Grains Bank.
At least each pregnant or lactating mother, people with special needs in the category of moderate acute malnutrition within Rhino Camp settlement and in the host community, the child headed family, the elderly and weak were able to receive 7 kilograms of the corn soya blend plus flour for porridge.
This support has been targeting 2, 500 beneficiaries since 2017 and in 2018, the number was increased to 2, 550 beneficiaries. Amidst the lockdown of coronavirus pandemic, PAG has still continued to offer corn soya blend plus to the beneficiaries.
He said the corn soya blend plus flour was distributed in all the eight villages of Ofua Zone, promising that in two weeks-time, they are likely to get another consignment of 20 tones that shall again be given in the circle of June and July.
Esalu noted that they have five more circles to distribute to the beneficiaries with the aim of helping the vulnerable refugees to have good health since their condition renders them susceptible to malnutrition especially during the ongoing crisis where they don’t have enough balanced diet.
The voice of joy as beneficiaries speak out
While distributing the ration at Ofua Zone five settlement, one of the beneficiaries expressed happiness towards the timely intervention by PAG which she said would help them supplement on the food they normally receive from World Food Program (WFP).
“I’m very happy for what PAG has done for us. They always come here and give us supplementary food and this has helped my family so much especially when WFP ration delays,” Ms. Safina Abau, a mother of three and a refugee at Ofua Zone five said.
Abau usually prepares the donated soya porridge for her children and this on average, pushes them for two weeks in times of crisis.
Mr. Emmanuel Mambo, another refugee said with the 30 per cent reduction of food ration by WFP, he always finds it easy to balance his meals with porridge so as to save the little given by WFP for a month.
“I feel happy about PAG because I know without their intervention, things would have been hard for my family of five. Right now, things are hard for many people in the camp because the food given by WFP gets finished within two weeks which is a big challenge without such interventions,” Mambo said.
“God loves me so much! And God should bless these people (PAG Family) for the support they always give me. Now I’m going straight home to prepare porridge for my grandchildren,” excited 70-year-old Ms. Mastura Angaika.
Meanwhile Mr Elly Taban, the Ofua Zone Five village chairperson observed that PAG has been so helpful to the vulnerable members of his village since 2017.
He, however, noted that from April this year when WFP decided to reduce food ration for refugees, some families have been suffering because the 8kgs of maize grain and the 4kgs of beans per person hardly last for a month.
Taban said as a result, whenever PAG comes out to distribute the corn soya blend plus, almost everybody wants to be served.
He appealed to WFP to look for alternative source of funding so as to revamp the earlier ration to curb the increasing cases of domestic violence and theft caused by hunger in refugee settlements.