UN says 2.51 mln people suffer food crisis in Somalia
The UN humanitarian agency said on
Saturday that some 2.51 million people in Somalia are facing
humanitarian crisis and additional 1.29 million are at risk of
sliding back into crisis without sustained assistance.
In its humanitarian update received in Nairobi, the UN Office
for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said tens of
thousands of Somalis died in the crisis, but the massive influx of
donor funding, a rapid scale-up of humanitarian assistance and an
exceptional harvest at the beginning of the year helped overcome
the famine by February.
"We need to act now to build on the gains," Humanitarian
Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden said in the statement.
"Parts of southern Somalia are already expected to deteriorate
to emergency levels in coming months and the underperformance of
the April-to-June Gu rains will likely result in a harvest that is
smaller and later than usual," Bowden said.
Following the mid-year review of the consolidated humanitarian
appeal for Somalia, humanitarian NGOs and UN agencies in Somalia
are urging donors to provide 576 million U.S. dollars to address
the enormous needs over the next six months.
The revised appeal for all of 2012 is 1.16 billion dollars,
half of which has been received.
Bowden said humanitarian actors need funds to provide the most
vulnerable Somalis with urgently needed assistance, such as food,
clean water, sanitation facilities and medical care.
Humanitarian organizations are using one-year anniversary to
highlight that the people of Somalia must remain high on the
international community's agenda.
In addition to the likely deterioration in agropastoral parts
of southern Somalia, pastoralists in coastal areas of Somaliland
and Puntland are at risk due to the poor performance of the rains.
Taking stock of the humanitarian situation one year after
famine was declared, Bowden also recognized the remaining
challenges, including ongoing conflict.
"Civilians have borne the brunt of conflict for 20 years. All
parties must make every effort to protect civilians and allow
humanitarian access to people in need," he said while stressing
that ending the recurring humanitarian crises will require
resolution of profound political and security issues.
"Without a durable solution to Somalia's political and security
issues, conflict and inadequate rainfall will continue to be
drivers of food insecurity, which is at the heart of the
humanitarian crisis," he said. Somalia is plagued with the
world's longest and worst refugee crises. In the past decade, only
two other conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have forced more than
a million people to flee their homes.
Published: NAIROBI, Aug 11, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
Copyright: Copyright 2012 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY