Statement By WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran On Visit To Mogadishu Somalia

Published on 21 July 2011

There is a life and death situation here in Somalia.  WFP will start airlifts within days into Mogadishu to get vital supplies of special nutritious foods for the malnourished children who so desperately need it.

The situation in Somalia is critical. At one of our feeding sites in Mogadishu, where we are supplying food for hot meals, I met a woman who had lost children as they trekked out of the famine area in search of food.

WFP welcomes the statements of those controlling areas of southern Somalia, that humanitarian aid will now be allowed into those parts of the country.  We are testing the ground to see how we can best get life-saving supplies in as quickly as possible to those at the epicentre of the famine in the south.  

We are reaching 1.5 million people in Somalia now, and WFP is scaling up to reach an additional 2.2 million people in the previously inaccessible south of the country.

People in the south of Somalia are too ill and weak to go in search of food, so we must bring it to them. WFP is preparing to open up a number of new routes – by land and air - into the core of the famine zone to establish the necessary operating conditions, including those that will secure the safety of humanitarian personnel.

For broadcast quality video footage from the trip, contact:
In Nairobi - Susannah Nicol +254 733518085
In Rome - or