The World Food Programme is committed to ensuring that vital food assistance reaches the hungry in Somalia. We know that the vast majority of our food assistance reaches the hundreds of thousands of hungry people who depend on it every day in Mogadishu. Across Somalia, more than one million people rely on WFP food assistance each month.
The hot meals programme that is the subject of the recent report by the Associated Press accounts for around 8 percent of WFP's operations in Somalia, and it is a special operation designed to meet the needs of hungry families living in Mogadishu, where there are unique challenges for providing humanitarian assistance. Hot meals are less likely to become the target of looters, and the programme allows hungry people to collect ready cooked meals and take them home to share with family members.
WFP's own close monitoring of our hot meal programme has already identified areas where we can tighten checks and balances at distribution sites to minimise any theft of food. WFP has been in the process of adjusting its hot meals programmes to improve their efficiencies.
The donor governments that provide the resources to support WFP's work are aware of the risks associated with working in a complex environment like Somalia. They know that WFP's greatest priority is to save lives - a goal we will continue to strive for as long as we are able to work in Somalia.