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27 May 2009

Described as the largest single gathering of displaced residents in the world today, tens of thousands of civilians are seeking shelter along the Afgooye corridor outside Mogadishu, according to the United Nations. Fighting between government forces and Islamist militias has triggered the flight of more than 67,000 Somalis in and around Mogadishu since May 8, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday. Most of them are heading to the Afgooye corridor, a 30-kilometer (19-mile) stretch of ramshackle housing described by the United Nations' World Food Program as "a nightmare."


26 May 2009

270,000 people are marooned in the hopelessness of Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp. But one extraordinary Somali girl found a way out. If Fatuma was an ordinary Somali girl, she might well have been traded for some cows or a couple of camels by now. (..) Fatuma studied for her exams in a shack built from flattened, empty cooking oil cans provided by the UN's World Food Programme. There were at least 100 pupils to a teacher in her class and almost all the teachers were untrained volunteers.


26 May 2009

When violence increases in Somalia, humanitarian operations are put at risk. The World Food Program is one of the aid agencies operating in Somalia under difficult conditions. WFP spokesman Marcus Prior, in Nairobi, spoke to VOA about food distribution in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, saying,"The World Food Program is extremely concerned by the new displacement caused by the latest round of fighting," he says.


19 May 2009

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Monday urged more humanitarian efforts in Somalia as the nation continues to be plagued by drought and violence. The World Food Program (WFP), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and their partners are seeking to scale up their nutritional intervention schemes to reach additional severely acute malnourished and moderately acute malnourished children, the OCHA said.


15 May 2009

Hundreds of foreigners fighting alongside Somali Islamic insurgents have driven this week's fierce battles against government forces, which have killed more than 100 people, the U.N. envoy to Somalia said Friday.
Concern that the government might fall is mounting. Observers fear that if the al-Qaida linked insurgents seize the capital, they will gain a safe haven on the Horn of Africa.


15 May 2009

Aid organisations warned on Thursday that Somalia's worst fighting in months was aggravating an already dire humanitarian emergency in the Horn of Africa state, and joined world powers in condemning the violence. (..) Poor security has forced the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) to seek security guarantees from al Shabaab, a militant group which the United States says has links to al Qaeda, and other groups controlling areas where the aid agency operates. "We talk with them to negotiate basically, the access for our staff and ultimately for our food into this or through that area," said Peter Goossens, WFP Somalia Country Director.


14 May 2009

Aid organisations warned on Thursday that Somalia's worst fighting in months was aggravating an already dire humanitarian emergency in the Horn of Africa state, and joined world powers in condemning the violence. (..) Poor security has forced the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) to seek protection from the Shabaab, a militant group which the United States says has links to al Qaeda. "We talk with them to negotiate basically, the access for our staff and ultimately for our food into this or through that area," said Peter Goossens, WFP Somalia Country Director.


14 May 2009

A severe drought that has gripped Somaliland's Sanag region in the past months has hit pastoralists hardest, with hundreds of families moving to urban centres after their animals died, officials said. (..) "WFP [UN World Food Programme] and its partners used to supply food to the district and other rural surroundings but they stopped at the beginning of this year," Mire said. "Now the situation has deteriorated and the people are facing shortages of food and water."


13 May 2009

Searches of captured mother ships operating off the Somali coast have revealed for the first time that pirate gangs are coordinating their attacks against commercial shipping, the commander of the European Union's naval task force said Wednesday. (..) The EU flotilla's primary task is escorting ships chartered by the World Food Program to carry food aid to Somalia. In the five months it has been deployed, the flotilla's warships have escorted 23 vessels that have delivered enough food to feed 1.5 million people in the war-ravaged nation.