29 January 2013

Somalia: World Food Programme Resumes Operations in Kismayo

Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
Internally displaced persons in Kismayo (file photo). After more than four years, United Nations food assistance has returned to Somalia's southern port city.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has resumed operations in Kismayo for the first time in four years due to security improvements in the city, the agency announced Tuesday (January 29th).

"It is extremely important that we are able to work again in Kismayo, as our recent rapid food security and nutrition assessment found that there is great need," said WFP representative in Somalia Stefano Porretti. "The survey showed that almost half the households in Kismayo are really struggling to meet their daily needs, and 24% of children below the age of five are malnourished."

The WFP operates three hot meal distribution centres around the city, providing meals to about 5,000 people daily. It has also set up five special nutrition centres where children and pregnant and nursing women are checked for malnutrition.

WFP has also begun training local partners to help re-launch its food assistance programme. It has dispatched a ship carrying 1,100 metric tonnes of food to the port at Kismayo to support the hot meal programme for three months and the nutrition centres for six weeks.

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