WFP may scale back work in DRC

Oct. 23, 2013 at 9:35 AM

GENEVA, Switzerland, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Support for people in the Democratic Republic of Congo will start to dwindle in November because of budget woes, the World Food Program said.

Ongoing conflict in DRC has left more than 6 million people in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. Food prices, the U.N. World Food Program said, have increased by as much as 8 percent in parts of the country affected by violence.

WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said in a statement Tuesday a $70 million funding program may force the organization to scale back operations.

"The likely impact would be an unfortunate reduction of support to school children, refugees and returnees," she said from Geneva, Switzerland.

The looming food crisis comes as regional and international delegates work from Uganda to find a peaceful solution to DRC problems. The rebel March 23 Movement mutinied last year, accusing the DRC government of reneging on earlier peace deals.

U.N. delegates taking part in the Uganda talks said negotiations hit a snag over the best way to reintegrate M23 rebels. U.S. special envoy for the region, Russ Feingold, is at the talks and the U.S. State Department said it was encouraging all sides to work to "sign a comprehensive and principled agreement within the next week."

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