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

Photogallery Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid