As the drought intensifies in south and north-eastern Somalia, the United Nations emergency food relief agency on Friday airlifted to Mogadishu enough high-energy biscuits to assist 31,000 people for three days.
The shipment, made on a Boeing 747 donated by the UPS Foundation from Dubai, also included medical assistance on behalf of the UN World Health Organization (WHO).
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo declared a state of disaster as the Horn of Africa nation continues to struggle with the severe drought and food crisis.
“A rapid response is crucial to support drought-affected families across Somalia,” said WFP Representative and Director of Gulf Office Abdallah Alwardat. “This airlift is a great example of WFP and its partners coming together to reach those furthest behind with life-saving assistance.”
The food is meant for the most vulnerable people – particularly children – who are displaced from their homes without access to food or cooking facilities, WFP said.
According to UN estimates, half of Somalia’s population, including 330,000 acutely malnourished children, is in need of urgent assistance.
The high-energy biscuits are rich in minerals and vitamins and do not require preparation, the UN agency said. WFP will provide other types of live-saving food assistance for the following days.