Meheba (Zambia): soaring market prices

Meheba (Zambia): soaring market prices

Prices have soared in Meheba refugee camp in Zambia. Some commodities have gone from single to double, even to triple. Refugees fear starvation. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Maize flour, a staple food at Meheba camp in Zambia, has become scarce. This is due to the worrying increase in food prices.

“A 2.5 kg bag of maize flour went from 9 to 15 Zambia Kwacha (0.5 Usd). 1 kg of rice has gone from 40 to between 55 and 60 Zambia Kwacha, as has a kilo of potatoes (more than 3 Usd). 1 kg of beans has gone from 50 to 60 Zambia Kwacha and tubers like cassava and sweet potatoes are sold by the piece whereas before they were bought by the heap”, said one refugee.

“With this price increase, how are we going to live while the UNHCR no longer gives us a monthly food ration? We’re just going to starve to death!”, said another refugee.

The situation has worsened since the end of October, sources said.

For some time, only the most vulnerable such as widows, unaccompanied children, elderly and disabled people have been receiving food aid from the UNHCR.

The other categories of people are encouraged to integrate and do mainly agricultural activities to support themselves.

But, there too, the situation has become serious, as indicated by the refugees.
“Aid has been greatly reduced for these vulnerable refugees too. They have nothing to eat. And climate change has ruined everything. Crop fields won’t do anything. This is the disaster we are going through”, regret Burundians.

They call on the UNHCR to take note of this situation in order to finally come to their aid.

Meheba camp is located in a small forest in northwest Zambia. It hosts more than 27,000 refugees, including more than two thousand Burundians.

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