With this contribution, WFP has procured more than 2821.75 metric tonnes of rice from China. Distribution of the Chinese rice will begin as soon as it arrives in Somalia and will provide critical food assistance to drought-affected people in 18 regions of Somalia. Together with China's contributions of rice, sorghum and Plumpy Sup (a nutritious paste), there is enough food to feed approximately 223,500 people for four months.
"WFP is extremely grateful to the Government of China for its longstanding commitment to addressing urgent humanitarian needs that will substantially boost our efforts to provide vital food support to vulnerable people on the brink of famine. Now, food from China will travel the Maritime Silk Road to support Somalis affected by drought," said Sixi Qu, WFP China Representative. "The ancient Maritime Silk Road can efficiently link people, supply, transportation and humanitarian assistance. Such connections help countries 'help each other' to reach the goal of eradicating poverty and hunger."
As the drought intensifies, particularly in the southern and north-eastern parts of Somalia, severe food insecurity has spread. Half of the population, including 363,000 acutely malnourished children under five, is in need of urgent assistance. WFP will continue to ramp up its assistance to reach 3.4 million people over the next six months through emergency food assistance as well as specially fortified nutrition support for women and young children.