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8 February 2012

The upcoming London Conference on Somalia is, potentially, a promising occasion to finally put the country on the road to peace, stability and democracy. Whether this opportunity is realised will be largely contingent upon the willingness and ability of the participants to chart a new course that takes full stock of the genuine and long term needs of the Somali people.


3 February 2012

The famine is over in Somalia thanks to good rains, a bumper harvest and donor aid, but the next 90 days will be critical to ensure the country does not slip back into extreme hunger, United Nations officials have said. (..) The announcement came on the release of a new report by the FAO-managed food security and nutrition analysis unit and USAID's famine early warning systems network, which said the number of people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance had dropped from 4 million to 2.34 million, or 31% of the population. (..) The new report also warned that an estimated 325,000 acutely malnourished children are still at risk, with 70% of these in southern areas.


31 January 2012

Six months after famine was declared in six regions, including the camps in Mogadishu, Somalia is still the world's worst humanitarian crisis. (..) A feeding centre in Mogadishu's tense Hodan district offers a microcosm of the crisis. (..)The centre is run by the UN's World Food Programme, and Sorrdo (Somali Relief, Rehabilitation Development Organisation) and feeds an average of 7,000 people a day. It is a lifeline to the thousands who live in surrounding camps.


13 January 2012

Somali pirates tried to board a Spanish navy ship off the Horn of Africa nation but it repulsed the attack and arrested six pirates, the European Union Naval Force for Somalia said on Thursday. (..) The EU Navfor said that the Patino, EU Navfor's flagship, had just finished escorting a U.N. World Food Programme ship to Somalia when it was approached by a skiff carrying the pirates.


13 January 2012

Distribution of food, seed and medical relief intended for drought victims in Somalia has been suspended, the International Committee of the Red Cross announced Thursday. (..) The aid intended for up to 1.1 million people has been held up because local authorities blocked distribution of ICRC food and seed relief in the Middle Shabelle and Galgaduud regions in central and southern Somalia, according to a statement by the organization. (..) Last month, two attacks on aid workers in Somalia killed five people -- two from Medecins Sans Frontieres, also known as Doctors Without Borders, and three from the U.N. World Food Programme.


9 January 2012

While the scale of the drought in Uganda has not been as severe as in Somalia, parts of Uganda have suffered from erratic rainfall patterns, in particular in the remote semi-arid plains of Karamoja in the northeast of the country. (..) Ongoing resilience-oriented development programmes in Karamoja - such as the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund, which is supported by WFP) - provide social safety nets for vulnerable populations while supporting them to strengthen and build resilient livelihoods.


23 November 2011

Four months after the U.N. declared famine in much of Somalia, some regions are beginning a slow recovery from a disaster that has killed tens of thousands of people. (..) Challiss McDonough, a World Food Program spokeswoman, said the displaced Somalis "have to feel physically secure and have a livelihood that will allow them to make ends meet" in their home regions.


14 November 2011

Kenyan troops have been drawn into the civil war in Somalia between the government and al-Shabab militants as desperate refugees flee to Ethiopia to escape violence and famine. (..) JAAKKO VALLI, World Food Program: I can understand where the concerns or the donor fatigues comes from. It's -- it's challenging to show real needs of the Somali refugees because some of their displacement is induced by drought, and that doesn't show in the news camera lens as appealing than the damage where an earthquake or even floods can show.


10 November 2011

Executive Directors of the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) thanked the State of Kuwait this week for the "generous contributions" to assist the people of Somalia cope with the drought. In a letter to Kuwaiti Permanent Representative Ambassador Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi, WFP's Executive Dirctor Josette Sheeran expressed her "deep appreciation" for Kuwait's "generous contribution" of USD 250,000.


31 October 2011

(..) Has the United Nations adjusted its tactics in light of the access problems? ANTONIA GUTERRES: There are different possibilities of access depending on the nature of the organizations. When food aid is essential, the World Food Program is crucial inside Somalia. But unfortunately, Shabab doesn't allow the World Food Program to operate in the areas controlled by it. And so the International Committee of the Red Cross has the capacity to deliver food assistance in some areas of south-central Somalia under Shabab control.