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Somalia:Mark Bowdan oo gaaray Gedo

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Laaska News  July 10,2011                   + Related News
Survival of millions of children in Horn of Africa at risk, warns UNICEF

Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden

Maamulka gobolka Gedo ayaa sheegay in ay gobolka soo booqdeyn wafdi  uu hoggaaminayo Mark Bawden isu-duwaha xiriirka Bani’aadamnimo ee Qaramada Midoobay u qaabilsan Soomaaliya.

Guddoomiyaha gobolka Gedo Maxamed Cabdi Kaliil oo Radio Muqdisho la hadlay ayaa sheegay in komeerka ay gobolka ku yimaadeen wafigii uu hoggaaminyay Bowden ay uga warbixiyeen xaaladda bini’adanimo ee ka taagan halkaasi iyo heerka ay gaarsiisan tahay abaarta ku dhufay gobolka.

Waxa uu sheegay guddoomiyaha in uu u sheegay wafdigan  in si deg deg ah ay uga soo jawaabi doonaan codsigooda oo ay soo gaarsiin doonaan gurmad.

Maxamed Cabdi Kaliil ayaa dhinaca kale sheegay in 8dii bishan ay kulamo la qaateen qaar ka mid ah hay’adaha gargaarka si gobolka Gedo oo idil looga bilaabo gaargaar cunna qaybin ah kaddib markii ay sii korortay saameynta abaarta ee halkaasi ka taagan.


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Survival of millions of children in Horn of Africa at risk, warns UNICEF

8 July 2011 –The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today warned that two million children are malnourished as a result of the drought in the Horn of Africa, and half a million could soon die or suffer long-lasting mental or physical damage.
The agency appealed for nearly $32 million to assist millions of children and women in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti, which are all facing a crisis that is being called the worst in 50 years.

“UNICEF estimates that over two million young children are malnourished and in need of urgent life-saving actions, if they are to survive conditions in drought-affected countries in the Horn of Africa,” the agency said in a press statement.

“Half a million of those children are facing imminent life-threatening conditions, with long lasting consequences to their physical and mental development.”

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) today said it is already assisting six million people in the affected countries, plus eastern Uganda, “but as the impact of the drought grows, we expect this number will rise to as much as 10 million.”

High food prices and prolonged drought are worsening an already dire situation for thousands of families in need of food and water, according to UNICEF.

“Thousands of families are crossing the border from Somalia as emergency feeding centres are being set up by UNICEF and other humanitarian agencies in neighbouring countries,” the agency said.

The refugee situation is growing with some 10,000 arriving every week in Dadaab on the border between Somalia and Kenya. Dadaab is the world’s largest refugee camp.

“The threat of disease on already weakened young children is of particular concern and UNICEF is urgently setting up child immunization campaigns. UNICEF, government agencies, NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and other UN agencies will be working in the vital areas of water, food and sanitation in the coming days to ward off a massive emergency,” said the agency.

“However funding shortfalls, and in some areas the denial of access, threaten to disrupt these essential services. UNICEF is asking for $31.9 million for the coming three months to provide life-saving support to the millions of affected children and women.”

WFP estimates it will need around $477 million to address hunger needs in the region through to the end of the year, but it currently has a 40 per cent shortfall in funding amounting to around $190 million.

Advance planning and forward-purchasing of food has positioned WFP to respond to the current needs, but as food requirements grow, more resources will need to be mobilized to address the needs of the hungry across the Horn of Africa region, the agency said.

WFP, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the British-based Oxfam agency today issued a joint appeal for a more resilient and longer-lasting response to the drought and other “slow-onset” humanitarian crises.

Although the international community responds to sudden crises, “unfortunately, ‘slow-onset’ humanitarian crises, such as the worsening drought in the Horn in Africa, have not received the same attention, leaving millions of women, men and children vulnerable to devastating hunger and malnutrition,” they stated.

The three agencies asked the international community to commit to longer-term, longer-lasting solutions, such as sustainable food assistance, support for small farmers, and support for policies and investments that address core challenges such as climate change adaptation, preparedness and disaster risk reduction and management, rural livelihoods, productive infrastructure, production and marketing, institutions and governance, conflict resolution, pastoralist issues and access to essential health and education

UN News.

UN welcomes Somali insurgents’ decision to drop ban on humanitarian aid

Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden

7 July 2011 –The top United Nations relief official for Somalia today welcomed an announcement by Al-Shabaab insurgents that they would lift their ban on international aid, but asked for guarantees against workers being targeted or taxed.
“I welcome the suspension of restrictions on aid agencies and I am happy to cooperate with anybody who can help to alleviate the current crisis and save hundreds of Somali lives,” Mark Bowden, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, said in a news release.

“We stand ready to scale up assistance in southern Somalia but need guarantees that humanitarian workers can operate safely in the area and will not be targeted or agencies taxed,” he said.

The Al-Shabaab militant group, which has been battling the forces of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), announced on Wednesday that it was lifting its two-year-old ban.

Millions of Somalis, particularly in the south, are facing acute levels of hunger and need, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“The suspension of some humanitarian activities in southern areas has affected millions of people in southern Somalia for the last two years,” OCHA said. “Now, the situation has become unbearable because of the drought and a catastrophic rise in food prices meaning that many families can no longer afford a daily meal.”

At least one in three Somali children is malnourished in parts of the south and it is feared that localized starvation exists in certain southern areas currently inaccessible to humanitarians, OCHA said.

The number of malnourished children in Somalia has increased from 376,000 to 476,000 in the first half of 2011 and is expected to increase further in the coming months. Southern areas under Al-Shabaab control are hosting almost 80 per cent of the malnourished children.

“The current situation in southern Somalia is the worst it has been in the last decade and if humanitarian interventions do not occur immediately, thousands of people will die,” OCHA said.

The number of people facing crisis and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance increased in the first half of 2011 by almost 850,000 to some 2.85 million people or one third of the population. OCHA said this rapid deterioration is due to severe drought, drastically increasing food prices and continuing conflict. The failure of the rains this year resulted in very low food production.

As a result, the price of cereals increased by 270 per cent in parts of southern Somalia compared to a year ago. The annual increase in the cost of the overall food basket increased by 50 per cent in the southern region, putting the minimal adequate food intake out of the reach of hundreds of already needy Somali families.

“As a result, many more families will face migration and other hardships which will only add to their already desperate and critical situation,” OCHA said.

Somalia has had no fully functioning national government and has been wracked by factional warfare since the collapse in 1991 of the administration led by the late Muhammad Siad Barre.

UN News.

UN refugee chief to review Somali refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya

High Commissioner Guterres (right) talks to a disabled refugee leader during a visit in August 2009 to the Hagadera camp, Dadaab 1

7 July 2011 – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, today began a four-day visit to Ethiopia and Kenya to check on the care provided to refugees fleeing Somalia.
Mr. Guterres will “review the emergency humanitarian response to the massive displacement crisis caused by conflict, drought and lack of food inside Somalia,” a spokesperson for the UN refugee agency, known as UNHCR, said.

Relentless violence compounded by devastating drought has forced more than 135,000 Somalis to flee so far this year, UNHCR said. In June alone, 54,000 people fled into Ethiopia and Kenya.

UNHCR estimates that a quarter of Somalia’s population of 7.5 million people is now either internally displaced or living outside the country as refugees.

“Malnutrition rates among Somali refugee children arriving in Ethiopia and Kenya are alarmingly high and on a scale not seen in decades,” UNHCR said.

Mr. Guterres visited refugee centres in Ethiopia today and on Sunday he will visit the Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya, the largest refugee settlement in the world, with more than 380,000 Somali refugees.

During his mission, Mr. Guterres is scheduled to have talks with members of the Ethiopian and Kenyan governments, as well as the diplomatic community in both countries.

UN News.

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