Hunger in the news

29 July 2009

As fighting between Somali government forces and militias continues, so does the displacement of many thousands of civilians. (..) World Food Program spokesman Peter Smerdon, in Nairobi, describes operations in Somalia as "a rather difficult undertaking." "Overall, the World Food Program has so far received just 40 percent of the resources it needs to assist 3.5 million Somalis from April 2009 through to next March," he says.

24 July 2009

Repeated attempts to overthrow Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) are a source of deep concern, UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said in anew report released on Thursday, calling on the international community to continue its support for the struggling Horn of Africa nation. (..) On the issue of piracy off Somalia's coast, Ban expressed his gratitude to all nations and regional organizations which have ensured that UN World Food Program (WFP) and UN-contracted ships are able to deliver vital humanitarian aid to Somalia. And he also urged other countries to join in the effort.

23 July 2009

Ongoing conflict in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, has led to the closure of many feeding centres across the city, putting pressure on already crowed camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) as more and more people flee their homes, say local officials. (..) An official of the UN World Food Programme (WFP-Somalia), which provides food aid to hundreds of thousands of Somalis, said most of the 16 feeding centres it had been supplying had closed down due to insecurity. Mohamed Hassan Guled, WFP's information officer, said the agency was aware of the closures and was assessing the situation.

21 July 2009

Intense fighting is making it increasingly difficult to deliver aid to Somalia, where it is crucial to combat cholera outbreaks and maintain food supplies, U.N. agencies said Tuesday. (..) The World Food Program said its operations continued in Somalia, where it is feeding 3.5 million people, despite gunmen entering its Wajid compound in the Bakool region Monday. "WFP has managed to maintain our supply lines to hungry people in Somalia, overcoming obstacles that range from piracy on the seas off the coast to insecurity and attacks on our staff on the ground," WFP spokeswoman Emilia Casella told reporters.

20 July 2009

Somali Islamists linked to al Qaeda looted several United Nations compounds and expelled three of the organisation's agencies from the country on Monday. (..) The World Food Programme, which helps feed 2.8 million Somalis, said that its operations would continue, despite its compound in Wajid being seized by al Shebaab. "It's difficult to tell if this is a flash in the pan born of some local dispute, or whether the Shebaab's central command has ordered this," said a Nairobi-based diplomat covering Somalia.

2 July 2009

The Juba river region, in Somalia, is hard country. Women are regularly eaten by crocodiles while fetching dirty water. The sandy farmland is either in drought or flooded. And the militants known as the Shabab, who rule the area, exact brutal justice. And the militants known as the Shabab, who rule the area, exact brutal justice. (..) There is a streak of pragmatism among the Shabab that is distinct from al-Qaeda. The Shabab guarantee the safety of the food convoys of the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP). (..) Security in the Galgadud, the desert region controlled by the militia, has improved. But the humanitarian situation is dire. WFP says 90% of the 400,000 people in the area need food aid to survive.

1 July 2009

The authorities in Somalia's self-declared republic of Somaliland have urged the international community to come to its aid to avert severe food shortages and hunger due to a prolonged drought in the region.
Ahmed Yusuf Yasin, vice-president and chairman of the National Disaster Committee (NERAD), told a news conference in Hargeisa that Somaliland was experiencing the worst drought in decades

16 June 2009

NATO will keep a counter-piracy flotilla off the Horn of Africa, where international patrols have been key to preventing attacks in one of the world's busiest sea lanes, the alliance's top official said Friday. (..) A NATO flotilla has been stationed off Somalia since November. It was joined by an EU squadron, a U.S.-led task force, and ships from China, India, Malaysia and Russia. Their main task is to escort World Food Program vessels carrying food aid to Somalia.

12 June 2009

After a dramatic three-hour chase, seven Somali pirates stood on the deck of their mother ship transfixed by the helicopter circling in the darkness above them. (..)The warship then turned to other duties. On Wednesday it escorted two United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) vessels to Mogadishu to feed Somalis traumatised by the latest upsurge of violence in their chaotic country.(..) WFP Somalia Country Director Peter Goossens said 117,000 people had fled Mogadishu in the last month of fighting. "Some families left their homes with little more than the clothes on their backs."

10 June 2009

Officials in Somalia's self-declared Republic of Somaliland are concerned about food security following poor rains during the March-May planting season, known as the Gu'.
Mohamed Muse Awale, chairman of the National Environment Research and Disaster Preparedness Agency (NERAD), said the situation was deteriorating throughout the country as nowhere had experienced reliable rains.