Somalia, October 2013

School meals are at the heart of the World Food Programme’s fight against hunger. Last year, the world’s largest humanitarian agency provided school meals or take-home rations to 24.7 million children around the world. In Somalia, WFP’s school meals are helping to bring children back to class, and this is especially important for girls, who have often been expected to stay at home and help with chores.

In the photo: Girls in the Abdirahman Godyare primary school.

Photos: WFP/Laila Ali

Somalia 2013


The situation in Somalia has continued to improve since the famine of 2011, when 4 million people were in extreme food insecurity crisis.  Continued improvements are attributed to successive seasons of average to above average rainfall, increased livestock prices, improved milk availability, low prices of both local and imported staple food commodities as well as sustained humanitarian intervention.

WFP’s focus during the past year has been and through 2013 will continue to be on longer-term recovery programmes. These are aimed at providing responses that help to enhance the resilience of an individual or community by increasing household income, providing basic services and establishing predictable ‘safety nets’ to address basic needs.

WFP will continue to focus on nutrition programmes that support the most vulnerable elements of the population, namely women and children. Through supplementary feeding programmes and, where possible, through health centres, WFP provides specialised nutritional food products to treat and prevent malnutrition. At times of greater need, during lean or dry seasons, a family ration is included as there is a likelihood of other family members also being malnourished.

To assist communities and strengthen their resilience to shocks, such as drought or floods, there are community asset-building programmes that include the construction of reservoirs, wells and roads. WFP continues to expand its school meals programme which ensures that school-going children receive a cooked meal each day during term time. This has the added benefit of increasing school attendance and promoting the well-being of future generations.

While continuing to provide targeted emergency or relief assistance when needed, WFP’s 2013 programmes aim to help some 1.56 million people cope more effectively with hardships that might affect themselves and their communities.

 In the photos: WFP Hot Meals Centre, Kismayo Somalia.

 All photos: WFP/David Orr


WFP Food Assistance Returns To Kismayo (Somalia)

30 January 2013

Top: 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.

Middle Left: A member of WFP’s partner organisation at the centre hands out 30-day rations of Plumpy’Sup, a ready-to-use supplementary food, to those with registration cards. So far, two thirds of those needing treatment are children.

Middle Right: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.

Bottom: 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.

Photos: WFP/David Orr

One year ago the world was confronted with the drought crisis in the Horn of Africa.

Coupled with the conflict in Somalia the drought in the HoA, has affected over 13 million people. In response to the severe deterioration of the food security and nutritional situation in the Horn of Africa, WFP scaled up its operations to provide food for more than 8 million people affected by drought and famine. WFP continues its efforts to rehabilitate local infrastructure such as ports and feeder roads in the region, which not only significantly increased humanitarian access, but also facilitated the overall flow of international trade and generated subsequent revenue for local governments and helps build resiliency in the population that can reach markets more easily thus favoring the micro-economy.


Top row: Photo: WFP/Siegfried Modola

Bottom left: Photo: WFP/Judith Schuler

Bottom right: Photo: WFP/Susannah Nicol

Burao, northern Somalia, March 2012

In the first phase of the voucher project, the vouchers are being used to provide food assistance to the families of moderately malnourished children who are being treated through WFP’s targeted supplementary feeding programme, in lieu of a monthly family food ration.

Top: a woman and her child are receiving their WFP food vouchers. 

Bottom Left: a mother buys canned fish from a local vendor using a WFP food voucher.  In the first phase of the voucher project, there are 13 local traders registered to accept the vouchers, including those who, like this trader, deal in camel and goat meat, which are staples of the diet for most people in the largely pastoralist region and can play a vital role in improving nutritional status.

Bottom Right: Lul Haybe (far right, in blue) uses $10 worth of WFP food vouchers to buy two kilograms of camel meat from a local meat vendor.  “We are very satisfied now. The quality of the meat is good. I prefer fresh meat rather than canned fish,” she says. She will use the meat and food bought with her other WFP vouchers to feed the nine people in her family.  “Camel meat lasts longer than other meat,” she says.  Lul Haybe does not have a refrigerator, but will pay 1000 Somaliland shillings (about 17 cents) to rent refrigerator space to keep the meat fresh.

Photos: WFP/Challiss McDonough

Hungr In The News

Top UN Official Warns Of Continued Risk Of Famine In SomaliaThe Guardian 

Mark Bowden, who leads the UN relief efforts in Somalia, says many people remain in a precarious position and would need assistance on a regular basis. Bowden said last year’s aid enabled relief agencies to reduce the number of people at risk of outright famine from 750,000 to 150,000, and prevented the spread of diarrhoeal illness and other infectious diseases through chlorination of water and increased health services.

Clinton Trip To West Africa Highlights Region’s Burgeoning Democracy, Increased U.S. InterestThe Washington Post

After an intense year of diplomacy sparked by revolution and repression across the Arab world, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is taking stock this week of an entirely separate democratic advance a half-continent away in West Africa.

U.S. Department of State - South Sudan Women Working To Overcome Food InsecurityDipNote

Recently, after travelling on the bumpy to non-existent “roads” of South Sudan, I came away impressed — impressed with the hopeful vision of a country that has enormous potential to move quickly into a state of relative food self-sufficiency, perhaps within less than a generation. While on my field visit to the Eastern and Central Equatoria states, I witnessed the collective efforts of FAO and WFP.

Hungr In The News

ICRC Suspends Aid Distribution In SomaliaCNN

Distribution of food, seed, and medical relief intended for drought victims in Somalia has been suspended, the International Committee of the Red Cross announced Thursday. The aid intended for up to 1.1 million people has been held up because local authorities blocked distribution of ICRC food and seed relief in the Middle Shabelle and Galgaduud regions in central and southern Somalia.

57 Killed, 40 Missing As Tribe Launches Revenge Attack After Reported Massacre In South SudanThe Washington Post 

Hundreds of armed attackers from a South Sudanese tribe that suffered a devastating assault last month charged into three villages, burned them to the ground and killed 57 people, an official said Friday, an act that perpetuates a cycle of revenge attacks in the world’s newest nation. The UN mission in South Sudan estimates at least 60,000 people have been affected by the on-going violence. 

Food Inflation Abates As Grain Stocks RiseThe Financial Times 

FAO said on Thursday its food index had fallen last month to its lowest level in more than a year, reflecting reduced inflation across Asia. The drop in corn, wheat, rice, soyabeans and other agricultural commodities’ prices pushed the FAO food index in December to its lowest since October 2010. 

Hungr In The News

Food Insecurity In Pakistan Rises To 58%, National Nutritional Survey —News Pakistan

According to a survey conducted by National Nutritional Survey in 2011, almost 58% of Pakistanis are food insecure. A WFP representative said, “The situation has gone from bad to worse especially in Sindh where malnutrition and food insecurity among women and children has increased.”

Syria Battles Food Security IssuesThe Wall Street Journal 

Syria is struggling to afford and secure ample food supplies for its domestic population as the European Union’s ban on oil imports puts severe strain on the country’s finances. “The prolonged unrest is often causing disruptions in food distribution channels, leading to localized shortages in several markets,” according to FAO. 

10 Easy Ways to Give Back in the New Year —Shine From Yahoo

Don’t have the extra cash or time to max out your karmic potential? Read our charity cheat sheet - a roundup of 10 easy ways to pay it forward. Give back and goof off with a Web game instead. Free Rice donates rice to WFP for right answers

Malnutrition Widespread In Indian Children, Report Finds –-The New York Times

Roughly 42% of all Indian children under age 5 suffer from malnutrition, a sobering reminder of the persistence of poverty and hunger in the world’s largest democracy, according to a major report released on Tuesday. The extensive food subsidy program that India already operates allocates grain and kerosene to the poor. 

To Create Food Security In Africa, Focus On The Value Chain –-Newstime Africa

The tragic famine in Somalia has once again focused concern on food security in Africa. There are many facets to this issue, and many solutions. While there is a role for relief in addressing food insecurity, the only real solutions center on development. 

Hungr in the News

While a Deal Sets Up New Climate Talks, Scientists Help Africans Adapt Now —The Christian Science Monitor

Challiss McDonough of WFP confirms that technology systems like FEWS-NET are useful tools. “FEWS-NET was among the first to predict that some areas of southern Somalia could slide into famine conditions, and that warning was instrumental in getting the attention of some donors before the crisis peaked,” says McDonough.

Help Still Needed After Record-Breaking Year for DisastersCNN

Relief organizations have been working year round to provide emergency aid when disaster strikes and long-term assistance in the months and years that follow. WFP is aiming to feed 11 million people in East Africa. The organization is currently reaching almost 8 million. 

Key Political Risks to Watch in Sudan and South Sudan —Reuters

Sudan and South Sudan face severe disputes over sharing oil revenues and ending fighting in a border region, as both nations seek to overcome enormous economic challenges. With oil revenues expected to fall, it will be harder for the government to get foreign currency needed for food and other imports. 

Hungr in the News

Executive Director Josette Sheeran on Preventing Famine —IMF

Droughts like the current one in east Africa may not be preventable, but famines are. The international community has the tools to prevent the “roads of death” we are witnessing in parts of Somalia. In areas where the humanitarian community has access, millions of hungry people are being reached with life-saving action. 

Afghanistan Faces Drought, HungerHuffington Post

An estimated 2.6 million Afghans are facing food shortages after one of the worst droughts to strike northern Afghanistan in a decade, according to Afghan officials and aid agencies. Already living in poverty in a country at war, many have been left destitute by the drought, which has affected 14 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces – all in the north. Hundreds of children have been treated for malnutrition. Families are selling their animals at below-market prices. 

WFP Highlights Importance of Nutrition for HIV PeopleGhana Broadcasting Corporation

WFP has stressed the need to increase the provision of food with enhanced nutrition for people living with HIV especially those undergoing Anti Retro Viral treatment. In a statement to mark World AIDS day, the Chief of Nutrition and HIV/AIDS Policy Martin Bloem, said the WFP will continue to provide the right food to vulnerable populations, to help promote good health for patients while protecting their families from the negative impacts of HIV.