WFP Extends Nutrition Support, Boosts Food Distributions, Expands Cash Transfers In Horn Of Africa

Published on 09 September 2011

NAIROBI -- The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is bolstering its nutritional support for malnourished children and mothers in the Horn of Africa.  WFP is also expanding its use of cash transfers to help drought-hit families get the food they need.  Since the beginning of July, WFP has assisted some 7.4 million drought-affected people throughout the Horn of Africa and is ramping up to reach more than 9.6 million people over the coming weeks. In Somalia over the next three months, WFP is focusing its efforts on providing badly needed food assistance to 1.9 million people in areas to which WFP has access.

ETHIOPIA

  • In the Dolo Ado camps, the global acute malnutrition rate is 50 percent among newly arrived children under 5 years of age. WFP is supporting targeted and blanket supplementary feeding programmes at camps and at the transit centre in Dolo Ado.  WFP has begun distribution of Plumpy’Sup for malnourished children under 5.  All children under 5 and pregnant and breast-feeding also women receive Super Cereal, a corn-and-soya-based blended food fortified with essential micronutrients. WFP is distributing High Energy Biscuits in the pre-registration area.

KENYA

  • In poor agricultural areas of Kenya, WFP has assisted nearly 5,000 households with cash transfers to help them get the food they need.  WFP intends to assist 80,000 vulnerable households with cash transfers. Nearly a quarter of these households have set up bank accounts and will receive transfers in coming weeks. Beneficiaries who have not yet received cash continue to get food rations.
  • Existing food and cash-for-assets activities to help people become more resilient to future droughts have been scaled up to reach some 760,000 people in arid areas.
  • The recently completed Long Rains Assessment indicated that nearly 3.8 million Kenyans will need food assistance, which is likely to result in an increase in WFP’s planned caseload in the arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya.

SOMALIA

  • WFP assisted nearly one million people throughout Somalia in August.  Over the next three months, WFP will focus on reaching an additional 900,000 people with life-saving food assistance in Somalia in areas to which WFP has access, to reach a total of 1.9 million.  The humanitarian community is closely coordinating relief efforts in Somalia to try to reach as many people as possible.
  • At the end of August, WFP resumed general food distributions in Mogadishu.  WFP has distributed dry rations that included wheat-soya blend, a fortified high-protein food, to nearly 150,000 internally displaced people in seven districts of the Somali capital in August.  In total, WFP reached more than 327,000 people in Mogadishu in August, through general food distributions, hot meal centres, hospitals, specialized nutrition programmes and food-for-work and food-for-training activities.
  • As demand for the transport of aid workers to Mogadishu increases, regular flights by the WFP-operated UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) to Mogadishu now take place five times per week.

BACKGROUND
Since the beginning of July, WFP has assisted some 7.4 million drought-affected people throughout the Horn of Africa and is ramping up to reach more than 9.6 million people over the coming weeks and months.  In August, WFP assisted some 990,000 people in Somalia; 3.74 million in Ethiopia (including 240,000 refugees); 1.86 million people in Kenya (including 546,000 refugees); 109,000 drought-affected people in Djibouti and more than 700,000 in the Karamoja region of Uganda.

While pushing ahead to deliver emergency rations to those in urgent need of food assistance, WFP is also working with governments and other agencies to strengthen the resiliency of communities in drought-prone areas.  This support is directed at smallholder farmers and those most vulnerable to changing weather patterns.

WFP’s food needs in Somalia are well supported for the next few months, but the Kenya operation requires additional resources in order to meet an increasing need.  The budget shortfall for the whole Horn of Africa appeal for the next six months is US$215 million. So far, WFP has received $385 million in announced contributions.