Hunger in the news

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.

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.