WFP warned today that unless US$1 million was immediately forthcoming from international donors, over 65,000 victims of this year’s political upheaval in Togo risk not receiving any food aid at the end of this year.
A break in food supplies would leave many unable to feed themselves
Mustapha Darboe, Regional Director
There are growing concerns that an abrupt halt to aid deliveries could spark unrest in camps and also deepen tensions between the refugees and the communities hosting them.
“These people have virtually nothing and the world is in danger of ignoring their most basic needs,” said WFP Regional Director for West Africa, Mustapha Darboe.
“A break in food supplies would leave many unable to feed themselves as they do not have alternative means of subsistence.”
Togo was plunged into political crisis in February this year following the death of long-time president Gnassingbé Eyadéma.
His son, Faure Gnassingbé, assumed power immediately afterwards and was subsequently confirmed as president following disputed elections in April. At least 400 people are believed to have been killed in factional fighting over the succession process.
The unrest created an environment of fear and prompted many people to flee across borders into Ghana and Benin, where they sought refuge either in refugee camps or with local communities.
Most vulnerable are 10,000 refugees in two camps in Benin, who depend entirely on outside assistance for their immediate food needs. Some 17,000 living in host communities have also not yet received any assistance.
In Ghana, although 8,000 refugees are currently receiving food aid, an additional 10,000 living in host communities have not received any food aid.
Within Togo, at least 3,000 of the 16,000 people thought to have fled their homes to places of sanctuary within Togo have not yet returned. WFP is also assisting members of host communities whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the influx of people who fled their homes earlier in the year.