The United States and Brazil Partner to Provide Urgently Needed Somalia Food Relief

As humanitarian conditions continue to deteriorate in Somalia due to severe drought and ongoing instability, the United States, Spain, New Zealand, and other multilateral donors join Brazil in providing urgent food assistance to Somalis in need.

The United States has contributed $14.5 million in cash to the World Food Programme in the first “twinning” effort of its kind for the U.S.  These funds will go towards the cost of delivering 65,000 metric tons of Brazilian commodities to Somalia.

This past May 31st Brazil confirmed its contribution of up to 710,000 metric tons of food commodities for WFP to distribute globally, and a portion of these commodities will go to meet the food requirements of Somalis at risk.

Meeting with the Foreign Minister of Brazil Antonio de Aguiar Patriota last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton highlighted the opportunities for the two countries to collaborate in food security and development assistance, noting that Brazil is now a global contributor “to many of the important funds and efforts that are aimed at alleviating poverty, hunger, and suffering.”

This is the first example of a “twinning” contribution by the United States in conjunction with other partners and Brazil in the area of food security. Twinning allows developed and developing countries to partner in a triangular structure that maximizes the impact of contributions to the WFP.

“This opportunity to partner with others to help distribute the generous donation by Brazil and meet the needs of vulnerable Somalis marks an exciting moment of multilateral cooperation within the WFP,” said U.S. Ambassador to the UN Agencies in Rome, Ertharin Cousin. “We thank Brazil for making such an important contribution as a donor country.”

“We are very pleased with the opening of this additional avenue for cooperation between Brazil and the U.S. in food security”, said Ambassador Antonino Marques Porto e Santos, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN Agencies in Rome. “The twinning initiative allows both our countries to do more with the resources we have, increasing efficiency. This is a partnership that has lots of room to grow.”

WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said: “This innovative partnership will save the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable in Somalia. We are deeply grateful for the support of the U.S. and Brazil at a time of urgent need in Somalia.”