Tuesday, December 11, 2012
BY: WILLIAM LAMBERS
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) says progress is being made in fighting hunger in Somalia but cautions there is much work to be done.
WFP said today there is a US $53 million dollar shortfall in funding for its relief mission for the coming year. WFP is voluntarily funded by governments and the public.
There has been an improved harvest in Somalia and a 16 percent reduction among those facing an acute food security crisis. The improved harvest coupled with the increased humanitarian presence since the 2011 famine has made a big difference. However, over two million Somalis still need food assistance.
WFP is feeding over one million Somalis through nutrition and livelihood recovery programs. While drought often strikes Somalia so too does flooding. WFP has provided food aid to flood victims and started Food for Work projects aimed at prevention including strengthening riverbanks and digging drainage channels.
WFP is helping Somalia with a school meals program that has expanded since 2011. Over 100,000 children now receive the meals in 353 schools mostly in Puntland, Somaliland and the Central Region. Take-home rations are also being provided to girls which offers an extra incentive for parents to send them to school.
WFP's Susannah Nichol says, "This expansion includes Dolow in the Gedo southern border region where we now access and provide school meals in 8 schools." Nichol adds, "overall the programme is doing really well and we continue to expand it where we can."