A new batch of supplies for the World Food Program is set to be dispatched from Shanghai. The donation by the Chinese government will support hundreds of thousands of Somalis who are in dire need of food assistance after a severe drought hit the country.
More than 2,821 tons of rice are bound for Somalia, as the African country faces one of the worst humanitarian crises due to severe drought.
This donation comes following China’s commitment to food assistance at the Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing last month. The aid will travel along the Maritime Silk Road and arrive in Somalia in approximately 35 days.
The UN World Food Program (WFP), in charge of distributing the aid locally, says the gift represents several firsts.
The organization’s China representative says that it is the first food donation by the Chinese government through the WFP following the Belt and Road Forum in May. It also the first time the WFP has purchased food in China with a cash donation by the Chinese government.
According to the latest WFP statistics, as the drought in Somalia intensifies around 6 million people – half the population – face food insecurity. And 3.2 million need emergency food assistance.
The food aid will be delivered to approximately 223,500 people in 18 drought-stricken regions, providing them food for four months.