In January, 2009, the United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/East Africa), provided a new $60 million contribution to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) for approximately 81,000 metric tons of food commodities for the people of Somalia through USAID’s Food for Peace (FFP) program. This donation brings the total U.S. Government food commitment to vulnerable Somalis to approximately $140 million so far in Fiscal Year 2009 (October 1, 2008-September 30, 2009). Life-sustaining food such as sorghum, vegetable oil, peas and corn-soya blend is helping to save thousands of lives throughout Somalia.
The United States Government’s largest commitment to the people of Somalia in terms of funding requirements is in the form of life-saving, nutritious food support. USAID/FFP provides well over half the total food assistance that is helping the people of Somalia. While U.S. Government-funded food is distributed countrywide, the bulk of it goes to the most food-insecure areas of southern and central Somalia. Food assistance is currently being provided to over three million people inside of Somalia.
Emergency daily cooked food rations provided by WFP help support, for example, the one in six Somali children under the age of five who are malnourished. These food rations support more than 80,000 Somalis (mostly women and children) at 16 facilities in Mogadishu. The United States Government also contributes to the feeding of more than 800,000 people forced from Mogadishu by fighting. Many other women and children throughout Somalia depend on U.S. Government food supplies for daily survival.
According to USAID/East Africa Regional Mission Director Cheryl Anderson, “The United States Government supports the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia and is doing its utmost to ensure that during this transition period, Somalis throughout the country continue to receive life-sustaining food each and every day.”
In Fiscal Year 2008, USAID/FFP provided more than 211,000 metric tons of emergency food assistance valued at more than $217 million.