WFP has launched a flash appeal to cope with waves of Somali refugees who are fleeing to camps in northern Kenya amid fears of an escalation of violence in Somalia.
Some 35,000 people have arrived at camps in Dadaab since January, taking refugee numbers to their highest levels in a decade.
WFP is facing a US$9.5 million funding shortfall out of the total US$19.2 million it needs to feed the refugees for the next six months.
Child malnutrition high
The Agency provides 250,000 refugees in the area with food rations every two weeks and this food aid is their sole source of food.
Child malnutrition levels in Dadaab are at 22 percent – above the emergency threshold of 15 percent.
The trek to the camps can take months, with some people facing attacks by militamen who steal their possessions.
Those who do not have money for transport then face walking across a 17 kilometre no-man’s land between Somalia and Kenya.
Once at the camps, life does not get any easier as the refugees live in huts they have built with twigs and plastic sheeting.
Unable to leave the camps to work, they rely entirely on WFP food aid.