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WFP Food Assistance Returns To Kismayo

Mothers and children

WFP has set up five nutrition centres around the city, where pregnant and nursing women and young children are checked for malnutrition. At this one in Kismayo General Hospital, women and children line up to be assessed and, if necessary, registered for the supplementary feeding programme.

Measuring up

This woman has her mid upper arm circumference measured by a nurse to determine whether she needs to be admitted to the supplementary feeding programme. WFP is currently providing specialised nutritional support some some 5,000 malnourished mothers and children under five years of age.


A member of WFP's partner organisation at the centre hands out 30-day rations of Plumpy'Sup, a ready-to-use supplementary food, to those with registration cards. So far, two thirds of those needing treatment are children.

Settling down

The population of Kismayo faces many challenges, not least continuing insecurity and limited employment opportunities. If they are lucky, people get work as casual labourers, domestic workers or loaders at the port. But many are jobless and struggle to make ends meet.

Waiting their turn

These women and children are waiting their turn in the shade outside one of three hot meals centres that WFP opened up in Kismayo in late 2012. Each one is able to provide meals for up to 5,000 people a day.

Cooking for a crowd

Providing people with cooked food ensures the most most vulnerable get at least one hot meal a day. It also means that beneficiaries are not placed at risk by having large amounts of food to carry home. The raw commodities are brought into Kismayo by ship.

Eager eyes

All eyes are on this bowl of yellow split peas being handed out at the hot meals centre. Fruit is also distributed daily, alongside rice and split peas. A recent rapid food security and nutrition assessment found that half the households in Kismayo are struggling to meet their daily needs.

Just served

This young woman has just had her pot filled with cooked rice. With so many variables in their lives - the security situation and the seasonal rains to name just two - it is important that the poorest have enough to eat while they rebuild their lives after so many years of conflict.

WFP has begun giving food assistance in the southern Somali city of Kismayo for the first time in four years. Improved security and access now make it possible to reach Kismayo's most vulerable people. The need is significant - a recent survey shows that almost half of the city's households struggle to meet their daily needs and about a quarter of children below the age of five are malnourished.