WFP Scaling Up Operations In Horn Of Africa

Amid a worsening hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa, WFP is moving quickly to feed 11.5 million people across the region. Airlifts have begun delivering food to the Somalia capital of Mogadishu and areas in the country’s famine-hit south, while WFP ramps up support for refugees in Kenya and Ethiopia.

NAIROBI—The second flight in the ongoing airlift to Mogadishu arrived on Friday carrying more specialised food products for small children. Over 28 metric tons of this fortified peanut paste called “Supplementary Plumpy” has been flown into Mogadishu so far out of a total 100 metric tons intended for some 35,000 malnourished children.

WFP is supplying cooked meals to around 85,000 people per day in the war-ravaged Somali capital, in the face of daunting security challenges. WFP is scaling up its operations to feed 1.5 million drought-affected people regions of the country including Mogadishu, Central Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland

A stream of refugees

A stream of refugees continues to pour out of Somalia’s southern borders into neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya. On average an estimated 1,300 people are arriving every day at Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, many of them severely malnourished.

New arrivals to the camp receive high-energy biscuits to satisfy their nutritional needs for a day, in addition to a three-week ration of food. Small children and pregnant mothers are also receiving specialised food products tailored to their needs.

WFP is providing food assistance to about 498,000 refugees in Kenya, out of a total 1.6 million people receiving food around the country. The Kenyan government is feeding an additional 800,000 people.

As the drought wears on, the number of people who will be in need of food assistance is expected to rise to 3.2 million people by August.

The view from Ethiopia

Refugees continue crossing the border into Ethiopia as well, though their numbers have fallen in weeks from 2,000 per day to less than 1,000. However malnutrition rates remain very high among new arrivals.

Some 50 per cent of children under five arrive at Dolo Ado suffering from acute malnutrition. WFP has begun distributing high-energy biscuits to all refugees arriving at the camp while they wait to be registered for food distributions.

In the coming weeks, WFP plans to increase its assistance to over 3.5 million people in drought-affected regions of the country.