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Official statements announcing key developments in WFP operations and activities.
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650944
02/23/2017 - 17:06

Funding from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) received at the end of 2016 has allowed WFP to provide cash assistance during January and February 2017 for approximately 48,500 refugees from Mali who live in the Mbera camp.

Since the end of September 2016, an additional 6,000 people have crossed the border seeking refuge from insecurity and violence in northern Mali, swelling the number of registered refugees assisted by WFP in Mbera camp.  

 “ECHO’s contribution arrived at a pivotal time for meeting the food needs of Malian refugees for the first two months of the year,” said Jean-Noel Gentile, WFP Country Director for Mauritania. “Without this vital injection of funds, WFP would have been forced to suspend its assistance.”

WFP plans to continue providing a flexible package of assistance comprising cash and in-kind food rations. Cash–based transfers allow families to buy the food of their liking at local markets along with other basic items, such as cooking fuel.

WFP also plans to distribute in-kind rations of staple foods and fortified supplementary foods for vulnerable malnourished children and pregnant woman and nursing mothers. Additionally, WFP aims to provide one warm daily school meal to primary school children throughout the school year.

Currently, WFP is working with UNHCR, partners and the Mauritanian Government to better align the type of assistance it provides to the needs of refugees through carrying out vulnerability-based targeting. The targeting would allow WFP to reach the most vulnerable among the refugee population, while designing long-term self-reliance and resilience building activities in consultations with refugees, partners and Government. This approach is in line with WFP’s efforts in Mauritania to strengthen synergies and better integrate humanitarian assistance and development activities.

From March until the end of the year, WFP Mauritania will need USD 8.7 million to continue providing assistance to Malian refugees in the camp.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter: @WFP_WAfrica, @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org): Vanessa Rizzi, WFP/Mauritania: 00222 45 252 793 vanessa.rizzi@wfp.org

 

 

 

NOUAKCHOTT – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a vital injection of €1.5 million from the European Union to help meet the food needs of Malian refugees in Mauritania.

650942
02/23/2017 - 15:36

“The Italian Government continues to support the non-stop and commendable efforts carried out by UN agencies in Ukraine to assist the population affected by the conflict,” said Davide La Cecilia, the Italian Ambassador to Ukraine. “Our contribution to WFP and UNICEF operations will help ease people’s suffering, in particular for the most vulnerable, providing food assistance, increasing knowledge and building safe behaviour practices to deal with the risk of mines.”

Italy’s contribution will enable WFP to provide food to the most vulnerable people who do not receive assistance from other humanitarian actors. WFP will also use the funds to implement small-scale early recovery activities to improve local livelihoods. UNICEF will use the funds to provide mine risk education programmes for children and families living close to the contact line, a line which divides government and non-government controlled areas where fighting is most severe.

“WFP is thankful to the Government of Italy for helping us provide much-needed food assistance to vulnerable people affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine,” said Giancarlo Stopponi, WFP Deputy Country Director in Ukraine. “WFP greatly appreciates Italy’s support at a time when communities across Ukraine continue to experience the negative consequences of the conflict.”

Since November 2014, WFP has provided emergency food assistance to internally displaced people, returnees and residents in eastern Ukraine, distributing monthly food packages and food assistance through cash-based transfers or vouchers. To date, nearly 850,000 of the most vulnerable conflict-affected people have received food from WFP, in spite of the ongoing conflict and a volatile security situation that has restricted the movement of humanitarian staff. In 2017, WFP will continue to address the food needs of the most vulnerable people in eastern Ukraine while gradually bolstering recovery. WFP plans to provide food assistance to 220,000 food-insecure people in conflict-affected areas of eastern Ukraine.

“UNICEF is grateful to the Government of Italy for their contribution supporting UNICEF’s mine risk education programme in eastern Ukraine. The funds will help protect 500,000 children and their caregivers from dangers due to mines and other unexploded ordnance,” said Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.

UNICEF provides life-saving mine risk education to half-a-million children and caregivers. It also provides psychosocial support to over 200,000 boys and girls and their caregivers caught in the conflict, rehabilitates schools damaged by fighting and provides 2.5 million people with access to safe water. In 2017, UNICEF is appealing for US$31.3 million to meet the urgent health and nutrition, education, water, hygiene and sanitation, and protection needs of the most vulnerable children and families affected by the conflict.

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Notes to Editors:

About WFP
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists around 80 million people in around 80 countries.

WFP has been present in Ukraine since November 2014 to provide food assistance through monthly rations and cash or vouchers to internally displaced people, returnees and other people affected by conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine.

For more information about WFP, visit http://www.wfp.org/countries/ukraine

Follow WFP on Twitter

About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF Ukraine, visit www.unicef.org/ukraine
Follow UNICEF Ukraine on Twitter and Facebook

For more information, please contact:
Krystyna Kovalenko, WFP, +38 050 425 35 64, krystyna.kovalenko@wfp.org
Iuliia Poberezhna, UNICEF Kyiv, +380 50 388 29 51, ipoberezhna@unicef.org

 

Kyiv  – The Government of Italy has donated EUR 1 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF to assist people affected by the conflict in Eastern Ukraine in 2017.

650941
02/23/2017 - 14:32

“WFP monthly food assistance is a lifeline for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, especially in winter when extra calories are needed to fend off the cold,” said WFP Lebanon Representative and Country Director Dominik Heinrich. “Every day, 750,000 refugees depend on our support to be able to buy the food their families need.”

The US$2 million contribution from Mexico has been used to provide food assistance for 63,500 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees in Lebanon this winter who use WFP electronic food vouchers (e-cards) to purchase food from any of 500 contracted shops across Lebanon. Providing food assistance through e-cards also boosts the Lebanese economy and benefits shopkeepers and their families. Since the beginning of the programme in 2012, WFP has injected more than US$800 million into the Lebanese economy through the e-card system.

“Mexico is proud to join forces with the international community, and in particular with WFP, to assist in alleviating the suffering of Syrian refugees and ease the burden on host communities here in Lebanon,” said Ambassador of Mexico to Lebanon Jaime Garcia-Amaral.                                            

WFP requires US$20 million per month to continue to provide life-saving assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Without these funds, 750,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees will not have access to the food assistance they depend on to be able to provide for their families.  
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_MENA

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 66634352
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Cairo Tel. + 2010 15218882

 

BEIRUT – The World Food Programme (WFP) has provided vital food assistance to the most vulnerable Syrian refugees in Lebanon this winter thanks to generous contributions from the Government of Mexico and other donors.

650937
02/21/2017 - 17:37

The latest food security analysis in South Sudan has led to a declaration of famine in Leer and Mayendit counties in Greater Unity region. Two other counties are at risk of famine. The lives of some 100,000 people are threatened.

Despite a substantial humanitarian response in South Sudan by FAO, UNICEF, WFP and partners, food insecurity has deteriorated to unprecedented levels in these areas owing to protracted violence, insecurity, displacement and a protection crisis that has prevented adequate humanitarian access and aid delivery.
We stand united in our appeal to all parties to facilitate immediate and safe access for humanitarian actors and to respect the humanitarian space as a wider famine can only be prevented if assistance is urgently scaled up and reaches those most in need.

Massive and timely humanitarian interventions averted a famine over the last three years, mitigating the worst effects of the crisis. However, the provision of humanitarian assistance has become increasingly challenging in the above-mentioned areas.

Today, almost 5 million South Sudanese are facing severe food insecurity, and are not only unable to meet their basic food needs but they also must sell critical assets in order to buy food. The situation is expected to continue deteriorating through the lean season, which begins in July 2017.
People are dying of hunger. We must take action now.

Jose Graziano Da Silva
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Director-General

Ertharin Cousin
World Food Programme Executive Director

Anthony Lake
UNICEF Executive Director

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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
George Fominyen, WFP/Juba, Mob. +211 922 465 247
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi, Tel. +254 20 762 2179, Mob. +254 707 722 104

 

Life-saving support urgently needed in Greater Unity Region

650935
02/21/2017 - 14:34

In a joint statement issued today, which contributes to the global report on food crises being prepared in the context of the Global Network against Food Crises, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have expressed their concern about the impact of this recent and  persistent drought in Somalia and neighbouring countries.

The drought is already producing severe water and pasture shortages in pastoral regions, and severe loss of livestock and reduced milk production in the north of Somalia.
The dry January to March ’Jilaal’ season is expected to further deteriorate the food security situation, as shown by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit - Somalia (FSNAU) and FEWS NET countrywide seasonal assessment (conducted in December 2016 and made public on 2 February 2017), which finds that more than 2.9 million people will likely face Crisis and Emergency food security conditions until June 2017.

This drought is part of a wider-scale event that includes central, coastal and northern Kenya, southern Ethiopia and, to a lesser degree, other areas of the Greater Horn of Africa. Kenya has declared the drought a ‘national disaster,’ and the governments of both Kenya and Ethiopia note that several million people in each country will require food, nutrition and livelihood support in the coming months.

Unfortunately analyses of the latest seasonal weather forecasts for the next ‘Gu’ rainfall season (from March to May 2017), which is usually the most productive season of the year, converge towards a pessimistic preview. There is growing consensus among climate scientists about a significant likelihood of below-average rainfall, especially during the first half of the season. Consequently, another potentially poor harvest at the outset of the long dry season could extend into October 2017.

The implications of this third consecutive drier-than-average rainfall season are bleak and in a county weakened by over 20 years of civil conflict and affected by major access problems for aid interventions may easily lead to a humanitarian disaster on the scale observed in 2010-2011. Very large numbers of people could require urgent humanitarian assistance, with the most vulnerable populations in the worst-affected areas facing an increased risk of famine.  

Therefore, the joint statement calls on humanitarian partners to urgently prepare themselves to scale up their interventions in response to food-insecurity levels and food-insecure population figures in Somalia and neighbouring regions, which are likely to be at their highest levels since the 2010-2011 disaster. High-priority interventions include the provision of urgent and substantial food assistance, the updating of emergency response for agro-pastoral communities, the continued close monitoring of the weather forecast and the raising of awareness about the need for a regional approach to address the crisis.

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Rogerio Bonifacio, WFP/Rome, Tel +39 06 6513 3917, Mob +39 347 560 69 43
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi, Tel +254 20 762 2179, Mob. +254 707 722 104

 

 

A failed 2016 rainy season linked to the climate phenomenon La Niña, combined with exceptionally warm sea surface temperatures in the western Pacific and eastern Indian Oceans, have led to extreme drought in the Horn of Africa and a more intense drought than that of 2010 in Somalia. These extreme weather conditions, combined with factors including high food prices, trade disruption, population displacement and insecurity, are likely to have a very severe impact on the food security of millions of people in the coming months. This expected food crisis could be exacerbated by a forecast poor rainfall season in 2017.

650943
02/20/2017 - 16:38

WFP will use the first contribution of €5.5 million to provide four months of much-needed food assistance to 31,000 refugees in Kassala State through cash-based transfers (food vouchers). WFP will also use part of the funds to provide five months of nutritional support to 86,600 children under five, and pregnant and nursing women, all of whom are at risk of malnutrition across Sudan.

The second contribution of more than €2.5 million will help WFP to continue to provide vital air services for the humanitarian community across Sudan. The WFP-operated UNHAS facilitates the movement of humanitarian workers to particularly remote and hard-to-reach locations across Darfur and in central and eastern Sudan.

“The humanitarian needs in Sudan are staggering. 5.8 million people, or 15 percent of the population, is in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of conflict, malnutrition, climate hazards or displacement,” said Sophie Battas, Head of Office in Sudan for ECHO.

“EU support to WFP will help humanitarian workers to reach the malnourished and uprooted populations across the country and alleviate their most pressing needs. The European Commission is committed to continue providing needs-based humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable people in Sudan,” Battas said.

The EU has been one of WFP’s major donors in Sudan in recent years. Since 2012, the EU has contributed over €114 million (over US$140 million) in humanitarian aid to WFP operations in Sudan. These contributions enabled WFP to meet the food requirements of the most vulnerable groups in Sudan, especially those affected by conflicts and natural disasters.

“WFP is very grateful to the European Union for its continued support to our operations in Sudan,” said WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director Matthew Hollingworth. “These two contributions will allow us to provide much-needed humanitarian assistance to vulnerable refugees, including young mothers and their children, while enabling us to continue to provide aviation services for the humanitarian community.

Sudan is one of WFP’s most complex operations, with recurring conflict, new and protracted displacement of people, insecurity, and crisis levels of malnutrition and food insecurity. WFP provides food assistance to vulnerable people in Darfur and other food insecure groups in the east and border areas to the south.

In 2017, WFP plans to assist 4.2 million vulnerable people in Sudan through a range of activities, including emergency food and cash-based transfers, nutritional support and resilience-building activities to support communities to become independent. This includes internally displaced people, refugees, El Niño-affected populations and host communities.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media @wfp_mena

For more information, please contact:
Abdulaziz Abdulmomin, WFP/Khartoum, Tel. +249 183248001 (ext. 2123), Mob. +249 912167055, email: Abdulaziz.abdulmomin@wfp.org

 

 

KHARTOUM – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed two generous contributions totalling €8 million from European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), enabling WFP to provide food assistance to refugees, nutritional support to mothers and children and continue operation of the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in Sudan.

650929
02/20/2017 - 13:01

The shortages could worsen in coming months without new resources to meet food needs.

The number of refugees in Africa nearly doubled from 2.6 million in 2011 to nearly 5 million in 2016. While donor funding for refugee assistance increased during this period, it did not keep pace with rapidly rising needs. As a result, the humanitarian response is significantly underfunded. This has forced cuts in food assistance for some groups of refugees.

The two agency heads warn that food shortages will have dire consequences on the health and protection of such vulnerable people, unless more support is urgently made available.

“We can’t imagine how difficult life is for thousands of refugee families with no food, and often denied the possibility to work or provide for themselves in other ways. Refugees are extraordinarily resilient, but cuts in food assistance – sometimes as high as 50 percent – are having a devastating impact on the health and nutrition of thousands of families,” said UNHCR’s Grandi. “The right to food is a basic human right. We are working with WFP to ensure that no refugee goes to sleep hungry, but support has to come quickly.”

“Millions of refugees depend on WFP food and our work to treat and prevent malnutrition to stay alive. But in Africa they are in danger of being overshadowed by large humanitarian crises elsewhere,” said Cousin. “Donors have been very generous facing unprecedented global needs. But no refugee deserves to be abandoned and left behind.”

UNHCR and WFP recognize the very concerning food security and nutrition situation in the Horn of Africa and the unprecedented needs for assistance. Individuals are fleeing Somalia and South Sudan and arriving as refugees in critical condition. Over 75 percent of the Somali refugee children who have arrived in Dollo Ado in Ethiopia since January were acutely malnourished.    

Ten refugee operations in Africa have experienced cuts affecting the quantity and quality of food assistance for approximately 2 million refugees. Food rations have been dramatically cut – in some cases by up to 50 percent – in large operations including Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Mauritania, South Sudan and Uganda.

Refugees in Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Burundi and Ethiopia have had specific commodities cut including micronutrient fortified blended foods, needed to ensure an adequate quality diet.
UNHCR and WFP are concerned that sustained cuts to food assistance will have severe nutrition and protection-related consequences as refugees try to cope by skipping meals, pulling their children out of schools to stay at home or work and selling family assets.

The nutritional situation of these refugees before the cuts to food assistance was already worrying and is now worsening. Nutrition surveys in 2016 documented high levels of acute malnutrition, anaemia and stunting. In many refugee sites in Ethiopia, Chad, Sudan and Djibouti acute malnutrition is ‘critical’ and anaemia is greater than 40 percent, indicating a public health crisis.

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For more information please contact:
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi, Tel. +254 207 622 179, Mob. +254 707 722 104
Email: challiss.mcdonough@wfp.org
Cecile Pouilly, UNHCR.  Tel.  0041 79 108 26 25. Email: pouilly@unhcr.org
Leo Dobbs, UNHCR. Tel. 0041 79 883 63 47. Email: dobbs@unhcr.org
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521.
Email: jane.howard@wfp.org
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474.
Email: gregory.barrow@wfp.org
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057. Email: bettina.luescher@wfp.org
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 6531149, Mob. +1 202 7705993. Email: steve.taravella@wfp.org
 

 

ROME - The Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, are very concerned that critical shortages in food assistance are affecting some 2 million refugees in 10 countries across Africa.

650926
02/20/2017 - 11:09
Responding to Emergencies

JUBA – War and a collapsing economy have left some 100,000 people facing starvation in parts of South Sudan where famine was declared today, three UN agencies warned. A further 1 million people are classified as being on the brink of famine.  

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) also warned that urgent action is needed to prevent more people from dying of hunger. If sustained and adequate assistance is delivered urgently, the hunger situation can be improved in the coming months and further suffering mitigated.  

The total number of food insecure people is expected to rise to 5.5 million at the height of the lean season in July if nothing is done to curb the severity and spread of the food crisis.

According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) update released today by the government, the three agencies and other humanitarian partners, 4.9 million people – more than 40 percent of South Sudan’s population – are in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance.

Unimpeded humanitarian access to everyone facing famine, or at risk of famine, is urgently needed to reverse the escalating catastrophe, the UN agencies urged. Further spread of famine can only be prevented if humanitarian assistance is scaled up and reaches the most vulnerable.

Famine is currently affecting parts of Unity State in the northern-central part of the country. A formal famine declaration means people have already started dying of hunger. The situation is the worst hunger catastrophe since fighting erupted more than three years ago.

“Famine has become a tragic reality in parts of South Sudan and our worst fears have been realised. Many families have exhausted every means they have to survive,” said FAO Representative in South Sudan Serge Tissot. “The people are predominantly farmers and war has disrupted agriculture. They’ve lost their livestock, even their farming tools. For months there has been a total reliance on whatever plants they can find and fish they can catch.”

Malnutrition is a major public health emergency, exacerbated by the widespread fighting, displacement, poor access to health services and low coverage of sanitation facilities. The IPC report estimates that 14 of the 23 assessed counties have global acute malnutrition (GAM) at or above the emergency threshold of 15 percent, with some areas as high as 42 percent.   

“More than one million children are currently estimated to be acutely malnourished across South Sudan; over a quarter of a million children are already severely malnourished. If we do not reach these children with urgent aid many of them will die,” said Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative a.i in South Sudan. “We urge all parties to allow humanitarian organizations unrestricted access to the affected populations, so we can assist the most vulnerable and prevent yet another humanitarian catastrophe.”

“This famine is man-made. WFP and the entire humanitarian community have been trying with all our might to avoid this catastrophe, mounting a humanitarian response of a scale that quite frankly would have seemed impossible three years ago. But we have also warned that there is only so much that humanitarian assistance can achieve in the absence of meaningful peace and security, both for relief workers and the crisis-affected people they serve,” said WFP Country Director Joyce Luma. “We will continue doing everything we possibly can to hold off and reverse the spread of famine.”

Across the country, three years of conflict have severely undermined crop production and rural livelihoods. The upsurge in violence since July 2016 has further devastated food production, including in previously stable areas. Soaring inflation – up to 800 percent year-on-year – and market failure have also hit areas that traditionally rely on markets to meet food needs. Urban populations are also struggling to cope with massive price rises on basic food items.

FAO, UNICEF and WFP, with other partners, have conducted massive relief operations since the conflict began, and intensified those efforts throughout 2016 to mitigate the worst effects of the humanitarian crisis. In Northern Bahr El Ghazal state, among others, the IPC assessment team found that humanitarian relief had lessened the risk of famine there.

FAO has provided emergency livelihood kits to more than 2.3 million people to help them fish or plant vegetables. FAO has also vaccinated more than 6 million livestock such as goats and sheep to prevent further loss.

WFP continues to scale up its support in South Sudan as humanitarian needs increase, and plans to provide food and nutrition assistance to 4.1 million people through the hunger season in South Sudan this year. This includes lifesaving emergency food, cash and nutrition assistance for people displaced and affected by conflict, as well as community-based recovery or resilience programs and school meals.  

In 2016, WFP reached a record 4 million people in South Sudan with food assistance — including cash assistance amounting to US$13.8 million, and more than 265,000 metric tons of food and nutrition supplies. It is the largest number of people assisted by WFP in South Sudan since independence, despite problems resulting from the challenging context.

UNICEF aims to treat 207,000 children for severe acute malnutrition in 2017. Working with over 40 partners and in close collaboration with WFP, UNICEF is supporting 620 outpatient therapeutic programme sites and about 50 inpatient therapeutic sites across the country to provide children with urgently needed treatment. Through a rapid response mechanism carried out jointly with WFP, UNICEF continues to reach communities in the most remote locations. These rapid response missions treat thousands of children for malnutrition as well as provide them with immunization services, safe water and sanitation which also prevents recurring malnutrition.

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For more information, please contact:

Lieke Visser, FAO/Juba: +211(0)922001661, lieke.visser@fao.org
Zoie Jones, FAO/Rome +39 06 570 56309, zoie.jones@fao.org 

Marianna Zaichykova, UNICEF/Juba: +211 95 685 9134, mzaichykova@unicef.org
James Elder, UNICEF/Nairobi: +254 715 581 222, jelder@unicef.org  

George Fominyen, WFP/Juba: +211 922 465 247, george.fominyen@wfp.org
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi: +254 707 722 104, challiss.mcdonough@wfp.org  

 

UN agencies warn that almost 5 million people urgently need food, agriculture and nutrition assistance

650921
02/17/2017 - 12:38

The drought that the northern regions have struggled with for the last year has now spread throughout Somalia, threatening an already fragile population battered by decades of conflict. Almost half the country’s population, or 6.2 million people, are either severely food insecure or in need of livelihood support. It is expected that 944,000 children will be acutely malnourished this year, including 185,000 who will be severely malnourished and in need of urgent lifesaving support. It is very likely that this projected number of severely malnourished children could increase 50 percent to 270,000 over the coming months.

The UNICEF and WFP representatives this week have been visiting some of the worst-affected areas in the northern Puntland region, where the two agencies are delivering much-needed assistance.

“Huge numbers of Somalis have come to the end of all their possible resources and are living hand-to-mouth,” said Steven Lauwerier, the UNICEF Somalia Representative. “We have a small window of opportunity to avert this looming catastrophe and save children’s lives and we are determined to work with all partners and stakeholders to succeed.”

The ongoing drought and other shocks have left communities with little to no resources to fall back on. Whole villages have lost their crops or seen their livestock die. The prices of water and locally produced food have risen dramatically, and thousands of people are on the move in search of food and water. The drought has also led to an increase in waterborne diseases with more than 4,000 cases of Acute Watery Diarrhoea/Cholera this year.

“Humanitarian assistance has saved lives in the drought-affected north over the past year, but as the crisis spreads we have no time to lose,” said WFP Country Director Laurent Bukera. “Together with UNICEF and other partners, we are moving as quickly as possible to reach many more people with lifesaving support using every option we have, including cash-based transfers, specialized nutrition support and airlifting of relief goods.” 

The agencies noted that humanitarian access remains worryingly limited in some drought-affected areas of the south, but that WFP and UNICEF are reinforcing their joint efforts to scale up the response in areas that are accessible, where millions of lives are at risk. The agencies are responding together to the drought by providing food and water vouchers to hundreds of thousands across the most affected areas of Somalia as well as nutrition assistance.  As additional resources are mobilised, this joint response will continue to expand in the most vulnerable regions.

Funds have been generously provided by international donors from Europe, Asia, North America and the UN system for life-saving services in nutrition, food security, health, education, water and sanitation.

With the growing needs, UNICEF and WFP together still require more than US$450 million to be able to provide urgent assistance required in the coming months. 

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About UNICEF 
UNICEF has been working in Somalia since 1972, when its first office opened in Mogadishu. Today UNICEF has several offices across the country, including Mogadishu, Baidoa, Garowe and Hargeisa. Together with over 100 international and national NGOs and community-based organizations, UNICEF delivers services in Health, Nutrition, WASH, Education and Child Protection, as well as responds to emergencies and supports peacebuilding and development. For more information visit www.unicef.org/somalia 

About WFP
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries. WFP launched its first operation in Somalia in 1967, and this year aims to assist 4.2 million people in the country. In addition to emergency food assistance, WFP programmes enhance the resilience of vulnerable Somalis against recurring shocks such as droughts and floods. This work includes building water reservoirs and roads, and reinforcing safety-net systems such as nutrition and school meals programmes, as well as working in partnership to connect small-scale farmers to markets. 

For more information, please contact: 
Susannah Price, UNICEF: +254 722 719 867, sprice@unicef.org
Tsedeye Girma, UNICEF: +254 719 193 210 tgirma@unicef.org
Amor Almagro, WFP: +254 734 554 040 amor.almagro@wfp.org 
Challiss McDonough, WFP: +254 707 722 104 challiss.mcdonough@wfp.org 

MOGADISHU – As a devastating drought grips Somalia, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are warning that only a massive and immediate scale-up of humanitarian assistance can help the country avoid falling into another catastrophe.

650918
02/15/2017 - 16:53
Contributions to WFP

The project is designed to improve food and nutrition security for 40,000 people while contributing to the reduction of malnutrition in the targeted districts of Bahi and Chamwino in Dodoma region and Ikungi and Singida Rural in Singida region.

The EU contribution was announced today during an official signing ceremony at Umoja House in Dar es Salaam with Dr. Mpoki Ulisubisya, the Permant Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Michael Dunford, WFP Country Representative for Tanzania, and Roeland Van De Geer, Head of the European Delegation to Tanzania, in attendance.

“Despite improvement in many health indicators over the last decade, there has been insufficient progress in improving the nutritional status of children and women in Tanzania,” Roeland Van De Geer, Head of the European Delegation to Tanzania, said at the ceremony. “The persistent levels of stunting, wasting and micronutrient deficiencies in the country constitute a silent emergency. The new high-level political commitment to fight under-nutrition in Tanzania from a multi-sectoral perspective is a real game-changer. Through this project the EU together with WFP is well positioned to define and support the links between agriculture, health, food security and nutrition, which have not previously been well articulated or pursued.”

The project builds on WFP’s long-standing presence in central Tanzania and its experience in providing nutritious food and social behaviour change communication through local health facilities. These activities will be complemented by efforts in other sectors to provide a more holistic approach to reduce stunting in the country. The national level of stunting stands near 34 percent, with Dodoma at 36.5 percent and Singida at 29.2 percent.

“Thanks to this contribution from the European Union, WFP is embarking on an innovative programme which aims to meet the nutrition needs of the most vulnerable, especially children during their key growth phase of the first 1,000 days from conception to two years,” WFP Country Representative Michael Dunford said at the ceremony. “This programme will provide evidence that will inform future initiatives, and it therefore carries the potential to bring about lasting positive change in Tanzania.” 

In Tanzania, the rate of chronic under-nutrition among children is driven by poverty, food insecurity and inadequate infant and young child feeding. The project will work to improve knowledge on nutrition, dietary diversity and practices in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The activities will be boosted by promoting the raising of small-scale livestock, planting diverse crops and mobilizing villages to start small savings and loan groups, increasing access to capital.

Save the Children is WFP’s partner in strengthening synergies and capacities of community- based organisations and communities to promote gender empowerment and multi-sector approaches to nutrition, as well as coordinating the implementation of the agriculture component of the project.

By coordinating these activities under one umbrella, WFP, the EU and Save the Children will be addressing multiple challenges in improving food security and nutrition in Tanzania.
 
The project is part of WFP’s work toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger. In order to reach Zero Hunger by 2030, WFP is working with a wide range of partners including governments, the private sector and civil society. 

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

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World Food Programme: @WFP_Tanzania and @WFP_Media
European Union: @EUinTZ and @EuropeAid

For more information please contact: 
Fizza Moloo, WFP/Dar es Salaam, Tel. +255 (0) 692 274 729 or +255 (0) 784 720 022, 
fizza.moloo@wfp.org
Susanne Mbise, European Union, Press & Information Officer, +255 (0) 754 323 245,
 susanne.mbise@eeas.europa.eu

DAR ES SALAAM – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received a contribution of €9.5 million from the European Union (EU) in support of a €24.5 million Food Security and Nutrition Project in central Tanzania.