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23 March 2012

The European Union prolonged its counter-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia by two years on Friday, until December 2014, and extended its range to include Somali coastal territory. The operation, called Atalanta, seeks to protect World Food Programme vessels delivering food aid to displaced people in Somalia, as well as to combat piracy off the Somali coast.


6 March 2012

The U.N. Security Council expressed grave concern on Monday at the threat posed by Somali pirates and extremist groups as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon warned the African state's humanitarian situation would likely deteriorate again in the coming months. (..) On top of the security situation, a seven-month famine has killed tens of thousands in south and central Somalia, much of which is controlled by Islamist militants. The United Nations said last month the famine had ended, but more than 2.3 million Somalis, almost a third of the population, are still in need of aid.


24 February 2012

World leaders pledged new help to tackle terrorism and piracy in Somalia, but insisted Thursday that the troubled East African nation must quickly form a stable government and threatened penalties against those who hamper its progress.


21 February 2012

At a time of domestic austerity, why is the government using up its resources on trying to bring peace to a country widely dismissed as a "failed state", which has already seen more than 15 attempts to end the fighting? (..) If Somalia had a functioning government, the effects of the drought would have been far less severe and thousands of lives would have been saved.


13 February 2012

The climatic conditions linked to the drought in the Horn in 2011 have persisted, and some early warning officials say the aid community should brace themselves for a possible re-run of last year's food crisis. (..) However, in their forecast, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says they expect the impact of the La Niña to wane over March to May 2012, which is the major rainfall period for pastoral and agricultural areas of northern Kenya, southern Ethiopia, and most of Somalia, accounting for 50 - 60 percent of annual rainfall.


13 February 2012

Imagine if you were a child living in the Gebo and Bay regions of Somalia last summer. Instead of having the opportunity to go to school in the fall you were trapped in a massive drought zone. (..) Thousands of residents of Gebo and Bay are now in the Kobe and Hilaweyn refugee camps in Ethiopia and depending on relief from aid agencies. (..) The school meal program, with supplies from the UN World Food Programme, will improve child nutrition.


10 February 2012

Last year, around 13 million people in the Horn of Africa needed food aid. Now aid agencies warn failed harvests in the Sahel, the band of desert and scrub that runs south of the Sahara, mean 12 million more people require assistance. (..) The world has more than enough food to feed itself. Redistributing it to those who lack their share is the job of large and well-funded international aid agencies, particularly the World Food Program.


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.