News / Africa

WFP Makes Emergency Airlifts to Mogadishu with Specialized Nutritional Food

A severely malnourished Somali child receives Oral Rehydration Salts at Mogadishu's Banadir hospital on July 28, 2011
A severely malnourished Somali child receives Oral Rehydration Salts at Mogadishu's Banadir hospital on July 28, 2011
Kim Lewis

The World Food Program warns that famine the conditions in Somalia could spread to other areas if aid does not get through.  The organization says Somalia is the epicenter of the regional drought, which has also impacted millions in Kenya, Ethiopia, and other Horn of Africa countries.

The drought has forced hundreds of thousands of Somalis to flee their homes in search of food and water.  Many have gone to camps in Mogadishu, while others have fled to crowded refugee camps in Kenya or Ethiopia.

Humanitarian organizations are responding to the food crisis with emergency airlifts.  The WFP’s spokesperson in Nairobi, Challis McDonough, said as of August 1, a total of six flights have arrived in Mogadishu carrying a total of 82-tons of specialized nutritional food for malnourished children.

“It’s called Plumpy’Sup…peanuts designed to be ready to eat,” explains McDonough.  “It’s a treatment specifically designed, high in protein, high in calories, high in specific vitamins, minerals, and helps severely malnourished children return to normal nutritional status.”

Usually, food supplies are brought in by ships.  But McDonough said the number of malnourished children coming into Mogadishu’s nutrition centers and health clinics are rising so rapidly that existing stocks are proving insufficient.

A malnourished child from southern Somalia sits on the bed at Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia.
A malnourished child from southern Somalia sits on the bed at Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia.

McDonough said there is an urgent need for additional quantities of this specialized food “so we could rapidly scale up the number of children we’re able to treat.”

So far, 82 tons of food have been delivered into Mogadishu, enough to feed 28,000 children for one month.  But more is still needed.

“That is roughly the number of children we will be trying to treat for malnutrition in Mogadishu, although those numbers are rising.  We expect it will go up to around 30-35,000 children,” said McDonough.

Along with making sure the critically malnourished children are fed, McDonough said it is making sure families also get food rations.

“When a child is malnourished they are most likely coming from a family situation.  We have to make sure that the family has enough to eat so they aren’t tempted to share the child’s ration.  The malnourished child is in critical need of their full ration,” she noted.

Other parts of the Horn are also being hit with the food crisis.  In Ethiopia for example, McDonough said more than four million people are in need of food assistance.

The drought has also affected pastoralist communities there.  “In some areas it is one of the driest seasons in 60 years and livestock have been dying,” said McDonough.

Livestock not only provide food for the region but they also provide a livelihood for millions and loss of livestock also means loss of income.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid