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WFP To Feed 1.6M People In Somalia This Year, Agency Reports

“The World Food Programme (WFP) reports it plans to feed 1.6 million people in Somalia this year, including more than one million people who are in a state of crisis” because of an ongoing insurgency by the Islamist militant group al-Shabab, VOA News writes. WFP “reports the situation in Somalia is somewhat better now than it was in August 2011, when the country was struggling with conflict and drought,” but while “the number of those in need has dropped by more than half, WFP says the situation remains critical, especially in the south,” the news service adds.

“WFP spokeswoman Elizabeth Byrs said a rapid food security and nutrition assessment carried out in [the port city of] Kismayo shows the severity of the situation there,” according to VOA, which noted, “WFP already has begun programs to assist people in Kismayo, with a special emphasis on children under five and lactating mothers.” The news service adds, “WFP is appealing for $57 million to carry out its humanitarian operation over the next six months” (Schlein, 2/8).