As East Africa is gripped by famine, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today it’s expanding its relief mission to reach 11.5 million people. WFP, which depends on voluntary donations, needs about 250 million more dollars to feed the hungry in the Horn of Africa over a period of 6 months.
WFP issued the following press release:
NAIROBI – The United Nations World Food Programme is extending operations to feed 11.5 million drought affected people in the Horn of Africa as more donations come in. WFP has received more than US $250 million from donors for its work in the Horn, but needs as much again to support its operations over the next six months.
- The second flight in the ongoing airlift to Mogadishu arrived today – carrying more specialized nutritional food for malnourished children under the age of five (Supplementary Plumpy). To date WFP has delivered a total of 28 metric tons of this ready-to-use food, boosting existing stocks that are being distributed by local NGO partners in health centres in 12 districts of the city.
- A total of 100 metric tons of specialized nutrition products is destined for airlift into Somalia – enough to provide 35,000 children with the month-long treatment they need to recover from malnutrition.
- WFP is supplying a hot meal to 85,000 people daily through 20 feeding centres in Mogadishu. Anyone can receive these meals, with no registration required.
- Our feeding centres continue to operate in spite of the difficult security situation and WFP is moving stocks out of our warehouse in Mogadishu to feed growing numbers of internally displaced Somalis who have fled the famine zone to the capital.
- WFP continues to provide food to around 1.5 million people in Central Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland, as well as some 300,000 in Mogadishu.
- The first airlift to Gedo – the western region that borders Kenya and Ethiopia – arrived today carrying 5 metric tons of High Energy Biscuits, which are particularly suitable when people are on the move. 5 metric tons is sufficient to feed 5,000 people for 5 days.
- In the Gedo region, WFP’s cooperating partners have begun screening for a supplementary feeding programme for malnourished children and general food distributions for their families, which will reach 175,000 people. The programme is for four districts, El Waq, Dolow, Belet Hawa and Luq.
- WFP has established a network of permanent nutrition centres in most districts in Central region with partners. The numbers of those in need of assistance in these areas has been growing, with new admissions of 2000 malnourished children and women in May, 3000 in June. Currently around 9,000 people are receiving supplementary feeding and their families receive take-home rations, reaching a total of 54,000 people.
- The UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) is scaling up from two to four flights a week to Dolo Ado, near the border with Somalia, to accommodate increasing numbers of requests from humanitarian workers.
- WFP now has a permanent office in Dolo Ado in order to efficiently support the food needs of all the refugees and a dedicated fleet of thirty trucks carrying food from Nazareth to Dolo Ado.
- Malnutrition rates remain extremely high in the camps – the acute malnutrition rate is 50 percent among children under five. WFP started distributing High Energy Biscuits from July 7 at the pre-registration site, as well fortified food rations in camps.
- The refugee influx from Somalia into Ethiopia is decreasing. Two weeks ago there were 2,000 daily arrivals, this number has reduced to several hundred refugees per day over the past week.
- A total of 2.4 million people are currently receiving food assistance in Kenya. WFP is feeding 1.6 million and the government of Kenya 800,000. The number of those needing food assistance is expected to rise to about 3.2 million by mid August.
- WFP is providing supplementary feeding for all children below three years of age in six districts of Northern Kenya where malnutrition rates have been found to be well above the emergency threshold.
- WFP will provide school meals to all 589,000 school children in the arid northern districts during the August holidays, in addition to regular meals during term time.
- Food-and-cash-for-work activities to help people to be more resilient to future droughts have been scaled up to reach 760,000 people in arid areas.
- WFP is providing food assistance to about 498,000 refugees in Kenya – some 418,000 in Dadaab and about 80,000 in Kakuma.
- An estimated 1,300 refugees are arriving in Dadaab every day.
- WFP is giving a one day ration of high energy biscuits to all newly arrived refugees in addition to a 21 day ration of food.
- Malnutrition levels among the newly arrived refugees are very high. Supplementary feeding programmes are being implemented for moderately malnourished children and pregnant and lactating mothers at health posts in the camps.
- A specialised nutrition product (Nutri-butter) is being given to all children between 6 and 23 months.
To donate visit the World Food Programme web site.