WFP has set up five nutrition centres around the city, where pregnant and nursing women and young children are checked for malnutrition. At this one in Kismayo General Hospital, women and children line up to be assessed and, if necessary, registered for the supplementary feeding programme.
This woman has her mid upper arm circumference measured by a nurse to determine whether she needs to be admitted to the supplementary feeding programme. WFP is currently providing specialised nutritional support some some 5,000 malnourished mothers and children under five years of age.
The population of Kismayo faces many challenges, not least continuing insecurity and limited employment opportunities. If they are lucky, people get work as casual labourers, domestic workers or loaders at the port. But many are jobless and struggle to make ends meet.
Providing people with cooked food ensures the most most vulnerable get at least one hot meal a day. It also means that beneficiaries are not placed at risk by having large amounts of food to carry home. The raw commodities are brought into Kismayo by ship.
All eyes are on this bowl of yellow split peas being handed out at the hot meals centre. Fruit is also distributed daily, alongside rice and split peas. A recent rapid food security and nutrition assessment found that half the households in Kismayo are struggling to meet their daily needs.
This young woman has just had her pot filled with cooked rice. With so many variables in their lives - the security situation and the seasonal rains to name just two - it is important that the poorest have enough to eat while they rebuild their lives after so many years of conflict.
6 February 2013 WFP Food Assistance Returns To Kismayo
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