At the commercial port, the U.S. Ambassador, Mr. James C. Swan, donated food aid to the Djiboutian people worth one million dollars ($1,000,000). The Director of the Ministry of Cooperation, Mr. Aden Ali Mahamade represented the Government of Djibouti. Ambassador Swan was accompanied by the Washington-based Regional Advisor for East Africa for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Ms. Kaya Adams, the USAID Djibouti Representative, Ms. Stephanie Funk and the entire United Nations team in Djibouti including the Resident Coordinator, Mrs. Hodan A. Haji-Mohamud and the World Food Program Representative, Mr. Mario Touchette.
The donation consisted of 910 MT of wheat flour and 150 MT of yellow peas. Ambassador Swan noted that the food will benefit rural Djiboutians who have been affected by the chronic food insecurity in the country for many years. Over the past six years, USAID has assisted an average of 102,000 rural beneficiaries a year through $12.6 million in food aid donations.
The U.S. Government works closely with the Government of Djibouti to address food security in a number of ways. Over the past four years, USAID has helped to reduce the case fatality rate of severely malnourished children from 20% to 0.2%. USAID also supports the Famine Early Warning System, known as FEWSNET that monitors the food security situation in the country and alerts the Government of Djibouti and the donor community to the situation on the ground.