China gives $16mn aid to Somalia: WFP
More than half of all Somali children are malnourished, with six infants dying from malnutrition everyday.
China has given its biggest single donation of $16 million for the famine-stricken people of Somalia in 2011, says the United Nations' World Food Program (WFP).
China's humanitarian aid will be added to WFP's food assistance operation in Somalia where 1.5 million people are currently receiving food rations, the WFP said in a press release.
“This is an enormous gesture of goodwill from the people of China,” said WFP Deputy Executive Director Ramiro Lopes da Silva.
Added to China's earlier donations, Beijing's support for the WFP exceeds $20 million for the year 2011, according to the report.
The WFP plans to provide ready-to-use supplementary foods, which are specialized nutritious products, aiming to spare young children in particular from the ravages of malnutrition.
Somalia has some of the world's highest malnutrition rates with one in four children acutely malnourished in the south of the Horn of Africa state. Prices for staple cereals in Somalia are at record levels, making any already desperate situation even worse.
According to the WFP, some eleven million people across the region are estimated to be in need of food assistance following its worst drought in 60 years.
Other countries affected include Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti.
Somalia has been experiencing one of the severest food crises in Africa, with about 3.6 million people in the country being at risk of starvation.
More than half of all Somali children are malnourished, with six infants dying from malnutrition every day, reports indicate.