WFP says food shipment denied entry into Burundi

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The United Nations World Food Program says a food shipment meant to feed around 112,000 Burundians suffering of hunger has been stopped at the Burundi border.

Spokeswoman Challiss McDonough on Friday said the shipment was blocked while trying to enter from Rwanda, adding that the WFP believes that the shipment was stopped due to a misunderstanding.

AP reports Burundi police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye to confirm that the trucks were indeed stopped at the Gasenyi crossing, but did not give further details.

According to the WFP, more than half of Burundians are chronically malnourished, with two-thirds of family income spent on food.

The East African nation has been rid by political violence since April 2015, following President Pierre Nkurunziza’s declaration that he would seek a controversial third term in power. He went on to win the disputed July poll.

The landlocked country was hit by flooding and drought in 2016, causing a serious drop in food production.

UN agencies estimate that three million people out of a population of about 11 million need urgent food assistance.

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