NAIROBI – The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a series of programmes to boost nutrition in small children, who are the most vulnerable to the ravages of malnutrition. WFP focuses on providing specialised nutrition products to prevent and treat malnutrition in the early years, to avoid irreparable damage to physical and mental development in later life.
WFP is boosting nutritional support for more than 90,000 children in Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya with a supplementary feeding programme for all children under five which started this week.
- WFP is also to begin distributing food tomorrow in six drought-hit Kenyan districts to boost nutrition in all children below three years of age, as well as in pregnant women and nursing mothers. The supplementary feeding programme will cover Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu, Isiolo, Mandera and Wajir. In some districts, such as Turkana, where malnutrition rates are particularly high, nutritious food rations were already distributed last month as part of this programme.
- As a safety net against the effects of the drought, WFP, working with the Ministry of Education and UNICEF, is providing school meals to 587,000 Kenyan children in the worst-hit areas during the August school holidays. The government has requested that schools remain open.
- With its focus on nutrition for young children, WFP has airlifted 120 metric tons of Plumpy ’Sup, a ready-to-eat specialized nutrition product, and 24 metric tons of High Energy Biscuits into Mogadishu , and the regions of Gedo, Lower Juba (Dhoble) and Bakool (El Barde). This has provided nutritional support to 30,000 people either just arriving in Mogadishu or crossing borders into Kenya and Ethiopia.
- A cargo aircraft landed in Mombasa on 13 August, carrying 50 metric tons of high-nutrient Plumpy ’Sup, enough to feed almost 16,500 malnourished children under age five for a month. The flight, donated by the global logistics company UPS, departed from Cologne, Germany. A similar flight paid for by TNT delivered 47 metric tons of the same commodity to Nairobi the week before.
- WFP is expanding its operation to provide hot meals in Mogadishu. Three new hot meals centres (wet feeding sites) have opened, bringing the total in Mogadishu to 23. WFP is also providing cooked meals in 6 hospitals.
- In Ethiopia, food distributions have begun for refugees who have been transferred to the newly-opened camp in Hilaweyn, the fourth and newest refugee camp in the Dolo Ado area, which opened August 5. The camp is expected to house about 15,000 people by the end of the month.
- WFP is opening up a new logistics corridor which will be used to transport vital food supplies from the Berbera port in Somaliland into Ethiopia and down to Dolo Ado. The food will then be transported across the border by WFP-contracted trucks and delivered to the drought-affected population in southern Somalia.
Since the beginning of July, the WFP has reached nearly 8 million drought-hit people in the Horn of Africa with food assistance. WFP is targeting 11.5 million people out of more than 13 million people affected by the drought and famine in the region, with governments and other partners supporting the rest. WFP’s Horn of Africa appeal remains $250 million short of needs for the next six months.
For further information:
Susannah Nicol, WFP/Mogadishu, Mob. +252 699301011
Barry Came WFP/Nairobi, Mob. +254 732220073
Natasha Scripture, WFP/Addis Ababa, Tel. +251 115 515188 ext.2130, Mob. +251 911201976
Christiane Berthiaume, WFP/Geneva, Tel: +41.22. +41 22 9178564, Mob. +41.79.285.7304