MOGADISHU, Somalia — A plane carrying 10 tons of urgently needed nutritional supplements to treat malnourished children has landed in famine-hit Somalia, a U.N. official said Wednesday.
The airlift is part of a crisis intervention as famine threatens to spread across the lawless country.
David Orr, a World Food Program spokesman who flew with the shipment from neighboring Kenya to the capital of Mogadishu, said it was the first airlift of food aid since the U.N. declared a famine in parts of Somalia last week.
Orr said the aid would be distributed to medical facilities to treat the malnourished children.
WFP spokeswoman Challiss McDonough said this is first of several planned airlifts in coming weeks. She said Wednesday’s shipment of peanut butter-based nutritional paste will treat 3,500 malnourished children for one month.
McDonough said about 18,000 children are suffering from malnutrition and the number is expected to grow to 25,000.