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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chechen and Azeri Food Aid Is Running Out

Food aid in Chechnya and in neighboring Azerbaijan is dwindling because of funding shortages and could run out within weeks, a United Nations envoy said Thursday.

Jean Ziegler, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, said that international assistance for displaced persons in Chechnya had been cut back to only wheat flour and could be cut entirely by the end of this month. The rations normally include oil, sugar and salt.

The World Food Program said in July that it might need to pull out of Chechnya because of a funds shortfall. The UN food agency feeds 250,000 people in the region, where tens of thousands live as refugees, are crammed into ramshackle hostels or are jobless.

"There is a risk that food-aid programs could be stopped by the end of October," Ziegler said in a statement released in Geneva.

In Azerbaijan, where hundreds of thousands have been made homeless because of a territorial dispute with Armenia, Ziegler said existing food aid stocks would only last until the end of the month.

Ziegler asked donor countries to "immediately honor their legal obligations and ensure the realization of the right to food of displaced persons in the Chechen Republic and in Azerbaijan."