Somalia, WFP Ink Deal for Emergency Locust Program

Somalia on Sunday signed an agreement with the World Food Programme (WFP) for the implementation of the country's emergency locust program.

Sadik Warfa, minister of labor and social affairs said the deal enables WFP to implement the shock responsive safety net for locust response project on behalf of the government.

Warfa said the locust response social assistance program will focus on addressing the immediate impact of the locust infestation on poor and vulnerable households by meeting their short-term food security and consumption needs and protecting their livelihoods and human capital assets through emergency cash transfer.

"Today, we have launched immediate support to the families affected by the locusts, with the aim to uplift families from falling into deeper levels of food insecurity," said the minister in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

He said the government has made enormous efforts to reach the locust affected families, noting that the program will benefit families in 43 districts who are most affected.

This comes after Somalia secured a 40 million U.S. dollar grant from the World Bank to help the locust affected rural communities in 43 districts across Somalia for a period of six months.

The minister said the intervention builds on the government-led Baxnaano national safety net program that envisages reaching the most vulnerable segment of the society through progressive cash-based social assistance while also building the necessary systems for national social protection systems.

According to the agreement, WFP will support the ministry in the implementation and delivery of emergency cash transfers to about 100,000 poor and vulnerable rural locust-affected households.

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