News / Africa

WFP: 1.6 Million in Need of Food Aid in Somalia

A Somali boy carries a tray of nuts and snacks on top of his head as he walks near a market place in the town of Jawhar in Middle Shabelle region, north of the Somali capital Mogadishu, December 11, 2012.
A Somali boy carries a tray of nuts and snacks on top of his head as he walks near a market place in the town of Jawhar in Middle Shabelle region, north of the Somali capital Mogadishu, December 11, 2012.
Lisa Schlein
The World Food Program (WFP) reports it plans to feed 1.6 million people in Somalia this year, including more than one million people who are in a state of crisis.  WFP says some of the most vulnerable people are in areas formerly controlled by the Islamist militant group al-Shabab.

The World Food Program reports the situation in Somalia is somewhat better now than it was in August 2011, when the country was struggling with conflict and drought.  Though the number of those in need has dropped by more than half, WFP says the situation remains critical, especially in the south.

It is for this reason that WFP says it is particularly happy to be able to work again in the port city of Kismayo.  This will be the first time in over four years that the agency will have access to this former stronghold of al-Shabab militants.  

The Islamists, which held the population of southern Somalia virtually hostage for three years, barred the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies from entering the region and providing assistance.  

WFP spokeswoman Elizabeth Byrs said a rapid food security and nutrition assessment carried out in Kismayo shows the severity of the situation there.“We found that half of the families of the households surveyed in Kismayo were food insecure and nearly 24 percent of children in Kismayo under the age of five were malnourished.  So, the population has suffered from the lack of assistance," she said. "From the withdrawal of aid agencies and NGO’s.”  

Byrs says WFP already has begun programs to assist people in Kismayo, with a special emphasis on children under five and lactating mothers.  One program she says provides daily hot meals to people in need of emergency assistance.  

She says WFP is shifting from emergency assistance toward programs that help the most vulnerable become more resilient.  She says it is important they have the means to cope with natural disasters, such as drought and floods.

“We do this by helping communities build assets to strengthen local livelihoods, such as building reservoirs, wells, building roads, reinforcing social safety nets including, of course, nutrition programs for mothers and very young children.  Also, we provide school meals,” Byrs explained. 

Byrs says WFP will be closely monitoring these programs to make sure they are working.  She says people in Somalia remain extremely vulnerable and anything could easily push them back into a crisis mode.

WFP is appealing for $57 million to carry out its humanitarian operation over the next six months.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More