The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Somali Red Crescent have begun a nationwide food distribution program in Somalia with the aim of aiding 1.1 million famine victims over the next three months.
The ICRC program has so far provided over 72,000 Somalis with immediate relief with food, including the supply of seeds to offer medium-term solutions as the rainy season approaches.
Loaded ships are headed for Mogadishu from Mombasa in Kenya under the Committee’s supervision.
Yves Van Logo the spokesperson for ICRC said that his organization would also be sending tens of thousands of tons of food and will ensure that Somalis only plant the seeds and not consume them.
''The aim of this food is more about seed protection. We are distributing seeds now to the farmers as the rainy season is now coming so that they can plant but they can't harvest before January,'' said Van Logo.
The United Nations has confirmed that a part of southern Somalia has also been struck by famine and four million people are at risk of starvation.
Several areas of Kenya and Ethiopia have been affected by years of drought that have affected harvests. Years of conflict too has made it difficult for agencies to access communities to provide them with relief.
The United States and U.N. said the ban of food aid imposed in 2010 by the al-Shabaab Islamist militants affiliated to al-Qaeda has forced hundreds of thousands of refugees to flee to neighboring countries to seek aid and shelter.
"We and our children are outside the camp, the second day without food and nobody comes to us apart from you. We get our food when the food cards arrive, people living in houses who are not with us inside the camp are given the cards in exchange for 100,000 Somali shillings Somali (three U.S. dollars) and we have the problem - it's given to one family hut and others are left out," said Fatima Osman Hassan, an IDP.
Thousands of families who seek refuge in camps around Mogadishu are vulnerable to diseases and have a limited amount of resources.
Famine, drought and conflict have divided families across the failed African state – and it seems there is little chance of respite any time soon.