IMAGE: Ugandan nomadic warrior
James Akena  /  Reuters
A Ugandan nomadic Karamojong warrior sits with an empty tin waiting for rations in Naweet village, about 300 miles northeast of the capital Kampala, on Jan.16.
updated 3/16/2007 3:34:06 PM ET 2007-03-16T19:34:06

A funding shortage is causing the U.N. to cut in half its daily rations for nearly 1.5 million people in Uganda displaced by war, officials said Friday.

Starting in April, the food ration will be half the minimum daily requirement for a person because of a $90 million shortfall, the U.N.'s World Food Program said.

Women, children and the elderly will be hardest hit and malnutrition may increase, the agency said.

Malnutrition is already high in many of the squalid camps where families who have fled fighting have set up makeshift homes.

"These people are likely to suffer a deterioration in their nutritional condition which will make them vulnerable to disease," Alix Loriston, the deputy head of WFP in Uganda, told The Associated Press. "We expect hospitals will have increased admissions from malnutrition which is already bad in the camps."

The food agency spends about $11 million a month to feed war-displaced people and families hit by drought.

If the funding shortages continue, the agency said cuts will have to be made in popular school food programs for 600,000 children and support for people with HIV/AIDS.

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