Relief SCENE:Food
World Food Program For Somalia Desperate
Food Rations Cut As $46 Million Is Needed To Feed 1.2 million Somalis
By YAHYA MOHAMED 03/18/2011

The World Food Program (WFP) announced that it urgently needs US$46 million to feed 1.2 million people in Somalia for the next six months and has already reduced the size of rations for vulnerable groups including the displaced in Mogadishu because of the shortfalls.

On Monday, drought and violence victims in Dusamareb district of the Galgadud region complained their rations were reduced during a recent distribution exercise conducted by a local NGO which partners with the WFP in the Galgadud region.

However, Peter Smerdon, a senior spokesman for the WFP in Africa told Somalia Report that it was the WFP which has reduced the food donations in Somalia due to the shortage of contribution from the donor community. "We have cut the food ratio because of shortage in terms of contribution," Smerdon said.

Regional Logistics Base in Djibouti

Because of the increased volume of cargo, both humanitarian and commercial now moving through the port of Djibouti to be distributed mainly in Somalia and Ethiopia, the World Food Program has decided to construct a humanitarian and logistics Base in Djibouti. In 2009, 86 percent of WFP's international purchases for programs in Ethiopia arrived into Djibouti and WFP handled almost 1 million tons of mixed food commodities destined for the region.

The logistic base will be capable of storing 30,000 metric tons of goods, including some non-food items (such as good distributed by UNHCR in Somalia and Ethiopia). It means that not only will the HLB improve the supply chain of the existing humanitarian programs of WFP and other actors in Ethiopia, Somalia and the region, but the goods stored in the base will also be able to be used swiftly in the event of humanitarian emergencies in the region.

Added to that, the port of Mombasa has become increasingly busy so and food commodities destined for Somaliland and Puntland are also sometimes routed through Djibouti. Susannah Nicol, WFP Public Information officer, told Somalia Report that the new facility will help WFP quickly transport emergency food distribution to Somalia from Djibouti whenever disasters struck instead of waiting it to come from far regions.