For a Future without Hunger

  • Ruman Mohamed and her eleven-month-old daughter Obah.

    Photo: WFP/Kabir Dhanji

  • Ruman washes Obah’s hands before feeding her with special WFP food.

    Photo: WFP/Kabir Dhanji

  • An employee at the health and nutrition center weighs Obah and comes to a good result: The little girl has gained 200 grams.

    Photo: WFP/Kabir Dhanji

For a Future without Hunger

After the famine of 2011, Somalia is once again threatened by catastrophe. Nearly three million people are suffering from hunger. Malnutrition is rising, especially with children. An estimated 363,000 children below five years of age are severely malnourished; 71,000 of them so severely that they are in danger of falling ill or dying.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) treats and prevents mothers’ and their children’s’ malnutrition in over 930 health and nutrition centers across the country. Ruman and Obah also receive support there: Ruman Mohamed is 20 years old and gently places her 11-month-old daughter Obah on the floor. She takes a plastic pitcher to fill water into a small metal bowl and washes Obah’s hands. “I learned this is the center today”, Ruman says and points to her daughter’s hands. She is referring to one of the health and nutrition centers for mother and children that is roughly ten minutes away from her house, in the northwest of Somalia. From a plastic bag, Ruman pulls a little pouch labeled “RUSF” – Ready to Use Supplementary Food. With such big eyes and round cheeks, it’s hard to tell that Obah is malnourished. The WFP is supporting the small family with daily rations of a special food: peanut paste enriched with vitamins and minerals that contains all essential fats. The rations are part of a four-month nutrition program by the WFP to treat malnutrition in children under the age of five. After the first month, the scale in the health center shows that Obah has gained 200 grams – a good sign that the treatment is working!