In February 2017, WFP reached almost a million people in Somalia using a combination of food distributions and digital cash cards that allow people to buy food in local markets-that’s more than twice the number of people reached in January.
Close to 3 million people cannot meet their daily food requirements and require urgent humanitarian assistance, while another 3.3 million Somalis need livelihood support to keep from sliding into crisis.
An estimated 363,000 children under age 5 are acutely malnourished, including 71,000 who are severely malnourished and face a high risk of disease and death.In some areas, more than 30 percent of the children under 5 are acutely malnourished. The emergency threshold is 15%.
Urgent need for 290 million dollars
WFP is in a stronger position to respond than in 2010/2011, but access for many humanitarian agencies remains dangerously limited in some of the worst-affected areas and needs are extremely high.
WFP urgently needs more than US$290 million in order to cover the additional needs for more than 2 million people in need of life-saving food assistance, and to provide specialized nutrition support to mothers and children.
The food crisis is worsening in rural areas following consecutive seasons of poor rainfall and low river water levels, resulting in near total crop failures and reduced rural employment opportunities, widespread shortage of water and pasture, consequent increases in livestock deaths, and rapidly diminishing food access among poor households, as local staple food prices continue to rise sharply and livestock prices decrease significantly.
The approaching April-June rainfall is anticipated to be below normal. This could contribute to further deterioration in food security, especially among the most vulnerable people.
WFP is mobilizing air and other logistics assets to ensure a rapid and comprehensive response. And is airlifting essential nutrition supplies into hard-to-reach locations. WFP is also airlifting high-energy biscuits and other supplementary food for immediate assistance to drought-affected people who are on the move.
Since early 2015, WFP has been using SCOPE, a platform for the electronic management of all transfers (in-kind, cash and vouchers) paired with biometric registration, which enables WFP respond more quickly to changing humanitarian needs.
WFP will continue to use SCOPE for the effective and efficient management of our emergency response to the drought-affected people in Somalia.