Drought stricken Somalia nears famine
Friday, July 15, 2011
The African Union made a plea on Tuesday for the international community to come to the aid of Somalia. This is a country where one in three, (ten million people) is suffering from a severe , a situation complicated by warring rebel factions. In 2009, discontinued air deliveries to areas controlled by the Islamic insurgent group due to militant threats.
Last week al-Shabab said it would welcome the presence of humanitarian groups, provided aid groups did not have a "hidden agenda".
On Wednesday, the United Nations airlifted supplies to a part of the country controlled by al-Shabab, flying five metric tons of medicines, food and water supplies to , a rebel-held town, 155 miles south of Mogadishu. Maulid Warfa, UNICEF emergency officer, in an interview with state-run , said a very critical humanitarian crisis exists in rural communities where people have lost their livestock and farms after the worst drought in six decades. The aid is to help them and their children who are extremely malnourished.
|[Somalia's crisis is] the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world.|
When Warfa, was asked about the arrest of two aid workers by al Shabaab, one with UNICEF, Warfa did not confirm or deny it. Instead he emphasized the desperate need of Somalians for assistance.
Although some feared a new Kenyan camp would result in more Somalis fleeing to Kenya, Kenya has announced in will open a new refuge camp near the Somalian border within ten days which will hold 80,000. Kenyan Prime Minister said, "Although we consider our own security, we can't turn away the refugees."
|We are no longer talking about a humanitarian crisis or a humanitarian emergency. We are seeing this as a humanitarian catastrophe.|
—Jens Oppermann, the country director of
In a nearby refugee camp in Kenya where 370,000 people are squeezed into a space set up for 90,000 people, conditions are desperate aid workers said.
Somalia's Prime Minister BBC said a refugee camp has opened in Mogadishu, but that the government had "meagre" resources to help drought victims. "We are appealing to the international community to take the matter seriously and to act quickly to save as many lives as we can," he told the BBC.in an interview with the
On Thursday, UNICEF said Somalia's drought and refugee crisis is "the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world."
On Friday, Jens Oppermann, the country director of(Action Contre La Faim, ACF), told : "We are no longer talking about a humanitarian crisis or a humanitarian emergency. We are seeing this as a humanitarian catastrophe."
This is the second consecutive year the summer rains have not come, and according to the BBC, the current drought threatens the lives of at least four million in Somalia.
- AFP. "Somalia faces drought 'catastrophe'" — , July 15, 2011
- AP. "300 Somali children left for dead in drought" — , July 14, 2011
- "Horn of Africa drought: Kenya to open Ifo II camp" — , July 14, 2011
- Abdi Hajji Hussein. "Somalia: UNICEF to resume operating in al Shabaab regions" — , July 14, 2011
- "UNICEF Resumes Airlifts into South-Central Somalia" — , July 13, 2011
- Anissa Haddadi. "African Union makes aid appeal for drought stricken Somalia" — , July 13, 2011
- Andrew Hosken. "Somalia famine 'not far off'" — , July 13, 2011
- "Somalia's Drought, America's Dilemma" — , July 15, 2011