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26 July 2011

Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, says she saw deep suffering during a recent trip to the region.


26 July 2011

Kenya’s government is working with agencies including the UN World Food Programme to respond to the crisis. The WFP also plans to establish a mobile unit to ensure health centers in the region are adequately stocked with drugs and medical equipment.


25 July 2011

The World Food Programme was forced to leave southern Somalia last year after threats from al Shabaab. Josette Sheeran is the head of the World Food program. JOSETTE SHEERAN: We are able to reach about 1.5 million people in Somalia but there is about 2.2 million that are not being able to be reached directly by humanitarian workers.


25 July 2011

The most pressing question now is whether the Shabaab will lift their 19 month ban on the world’s biggest aid agency, the UN’s World Food Programme. 2.2 million Somalis are currently beyond the WFP’s reach. If that ban was lifted, unknown numbers of Somalis would no longer feel the need to trek to Kenya. I met Josette Sheeran, the WFP’s Director, who also happened to be visiting the Dadaab camps over the weekend. In public at least, she offered no solution to the problem. “We go where we can, when we can,” she said simply, pointing out that 14 of her aid workers have been killed in Somalia since 2008.


25 July 2011

The world has "failed to ensure food security", France's agriculture minister has said at the UN food agency crisis talks on East Africa's drought. (..) But the World Food Programme says it still cannot reach 2.2 million people inside Somalia as refugees continue to pour over the Kenyan and Ethiopian borders.


25 July 2011

The World Food Programme (WFP) is now considering air-drops to help those in hard-to-reach areas of the country, said Josette Sheeran, executive director of the WFP. Much of Somalia's border areas are littered with mines from previous conflicts and al-Shabaab, which controls large swathes of the country, has regularly targeted aid agencies, with a renewed threat from the group last week.


25 July 2011

The United Nations urged a "massive" effort to save millions of people in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa, as France said donor countries would meet in Nairobi this week to step up aid pledges. (..) WFP chief Josette Sheeran said her organisation would begin food airlifts on Tuesday into Mogadishu, as well as aid flights to Dolo in Ethiopia on the border with Somalia and to Wajir in northern Kenya, which has been badly hit by drought. "We need the commitments to keep coming," Sheeran told aid chiefs.


25 July 2011

The decades-old conflict in Somalia has long complicated efforts to get aid to its people. Al-Shabab denies there is famine and is preventing some Western aid groups from helping those in need. The U.N. World Food Program has said it cannot reach 2.2 million Somalis at risk of starvation.


22 July 2011

The United Nations says it is ramping up its aid efforts for the drought-hit regions of East Africa. (..) WFP spokeswoman Emilia Casella told reporters in Geneva that the U.N. food agency also aims to provide aid to 40,000 people in the Afgoye region and will start airlifts to the capital Mogadishu in the coming days.


22 July 2011

It is a story that has become a staple of the international news agenda: rains fail in Africa, crops die in the fields, populations start moving, and famine is declared. Famines are rare, but despite all the efforts of the humanitarian community, they do still occur, and this time it is southern Somalia where a combination of severe drought, high food prices and insecurity is putting the lives of millions at risk.