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Somalia:UN calls on world to help save lives in Somalia – Related News

Monday, August 15, 2011

Laaska News  August 15,2011
At world’s biggest refugee camp, UN relief chief calls for more aid for Somalis
On ‘heartbreaking’ visit to Somalia, UN relief chief urges safe passage for aid workers

arents wait with their malnourished and dehydrated children in a corridor at Banadir Hospital in the Somali capital Mogadishu - PHOTO: UN

 

UN calls on world to help save lives in Somalia
By Chrispinus Omar

NAIROBI, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) — The UN relief chief wrapped up a three-day visit to Kenya and Somalia on Sunday, calling on the world to scale up efforts to help save millions of lives at risk in the Horn of Africa nation.

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Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos noted that although the number of refugees arriving in the last few days had fallen, more children were arriving in severely malnourished condition. “We need to do more to help people in Somalia,” she said after being told by one Somali refugee woman at Dadaab refugee camp that she had lost all four of her children on the journey to Dadaab. “No one should have to endure such suffering,” she said.

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On the last day of her mission, Amos visited Dadaab refugee camp, in northern Kenya, hosting over 400,000 registered refugees. Of these, 70,000 have moved into Kenya from Somalia in the last two months. “I am heartened by this,” she said in a statement issued in Nairobi at the end of her three-day visit which also saw her stress that aid workers must have safe passage to those in need so they can save the lives of millions of people at risk from malnutrition or infectious diseases as famine grips the Horn of Africa.

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“We have to do all we can to help people now, but we must also work together to build the long-term resilience of communities that are now facing drought conditions every two years rather than every 10 years, as was the case in the past.”

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While Somalia is the worst affected country, neighboring Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are also suffering. More than 12 million people across the Horn of Africa now face severe food shortages and require international assistance.

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Amos gave recognition to the Kenyan government and the Kenyan people in welcoming Somali refugees at a time when the east African nation itself was facing severe drought conditions in many parts of the country.

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She said the extension of Dadaab camp will ease the current overcrowding and enable the UN and partner organizations to provide improved water and sanitations facilities, health services and schooling.

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Amos also had an opportunity to visit a host community that has been working to secure their long-term environmental sustainability.

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On Saturday, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs who toured Banadir Hospital, one of just four locations in the war-wracked city where children suffering from acute malnutrition are being treated described the scenes she witnessed in the hospital as heartbreaking. “The children are so weak they can’t lift their heads, while their mothers are in despair,” she said.

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As many as 3.2 million people are estimated to be on the brink of starvation in Somalia, where persistent drought and ongoing conflict have led to famine being recently declared by the UN in five regions in the south of the country, including the area in and around Mogadishu.

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The situation is compounded by a deadly outbreak of cholera, while the number of cases of acute watery diarrhoea has also spiked in the past two months.

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Mogadishu has been the scene of protracted fighting over the past two decades as Islamist militants battle with the Transitional Federal Government for control of southern and central Somalia, which has not had a functioning national government since 1991.

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But the Al Shabaab group vacated the city a week ago, and Amos said that while she was shocked by the amount of destruction she witnessed, she was also impressed by the level of activity. “Normal activities like small shops were open and people were in the streets. It gave me hope.”

 Xinhua.

Related News:

At world’s biggest refugee camp, UN relief chief calls for more aid for Somalis

Somalis wait for registration at a camp in Dadaab, Kenya - PHOTO:UN

14 August 2011 –The United Nations humanitarian chief today toured the world’s largest refugee camp, telling residents of Dadaab in north-eastern Kenya that the international community must do more to help the large number of famine-stricken Somalis who continue to cross the nearby border to seek aid.

Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, visited Dadaab at the end of a three-day mission to Somalia and Kenya to see first-hand the crisis gripping Horn of Africa, where drought, failed harvests and conflict have pushed millions to the brink of starvation.

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Dadaab is now home to more than 400,000 registered refugees, nearly all of them Somali, with an estimated 70,000 people having arrived in the past two months as conditions in their homeland rapidly deteriorate.

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The UN has formally declared a state of famine in five regions in southern and central Somalia, and the number at people in need of food aid and humanitarian assistance across the wider region is more than 12 million.

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Ms. Amos noted that the number of refugees arriving at Dadaab, which is being expanded to accommodate the influx, has fallen in recent weeks.

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But she added that many children are still arriving in a state of severe malnourishment.

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“We need to do more to help people in Somalia,” she said after meeting one woman whose four children all perished on her journey to Dadaab. “No one should have to endure such suffering.”

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Although Somalia is the hardest hit, the Horn of Africa crisis is affecting Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti as well, and Ms. Amos thanked Kenya’s Government and people for the support they are giving to Somali refugees despite their own severe drought conditions.

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UN agencies are working with partner organizations to ease the overcrowding within Dadaab and to provide improved health care, schooling, water and sanitation for camp residents.

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During her visit Ms. Amos also visited a nearby community that is hosting Somali refugees and trying to strengthen its own long-term environmental sustainability.

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“I am heartened by this. We have to do all we can to help people now, but we must also work together to build the long-term resilience of communities that are now facing drought conditions every two years rather than every 10 years, as was the case in the past.”

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UN News.
 
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On ‘heartbreaking’ visit to Somalia, UN relief chief urges safe passage for aid workers

13 August 2011 –The United Nations relief chief visited the capital of Somalia today, stressing that aid workers must have safe passage to those in need so they can save the lives of millions of people at risk from malnutrition or infectious diseases as famine grips the Horn of Africa.

arents wait with their malnourished and dehydrated children in a corridor at Banadir Hospital in the Somali capital Mogadishu

Photo:UN

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On a one-day visit to Mogadishu, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos toured Banadir Hospital – one of just four locations in the war-wracked city where children suffering from acute malnutrition are being treated.

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Ms. Amos described the scenes she witnessed in the hospital as heartbreaking.

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The children are so weak they can’t lift their heads, while their mothers are in despair,” she said.
As many as 3.2 million people are estimated to be on the brink of starvation in Somalia, where persistent drought and ongoing conflict have led to famine being recently declared by the UN in five regions in the south of the country, including the area in and around Mogadishu.

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The situation is compounded by a deadly outbreak of cholera, while the number of cases of acute watery diarrhoea has also spiked in the past two months.

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The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which Ms. Amos heads, has warned that the famine is likely to get worse in the coming weeks. The number of acutely malnourished children in Somalia, currently at 390,000, could double within the next year.

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While Somalia is the worst affected country, neighbouring Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are also suffering. More than 12 million people across the Horn of Africa now face severe food shortages and require international assistance.

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During her visit to Mogadishu, Ms. Amos – who is also the UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator – met with representatives of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), UN staff and aid workers with non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

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She emphasized for the need for more safety and security for residents of Mogadishu, whose population has been swollen in recent weeks by the arrival of at least 100,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing other famine-stricken areas.

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We can save the lives of these children if we can treat them early enough, but we also need to get aid to areas outside Mogadishu where most of the people in desperate need are,” she said. ‘That is why I am here. I want to make sure everyone understands the depth of this crisis.”

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Mogadishu has been the scene of protracted fighting over the past two decades as Islamist militants battle with the TFG for control of southern and central Somalia, which has not had a functioning national government since 1991.

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But the Al-Shabaab group vacated the city a week ago, and Ms. Amos said that while she was shocked by the amount of destruction she witnessed, she was also impressed by the level of activity.

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Normal activities like small shops were open and people were in the streets. It gave me hope.

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Tomorrow Ms. Amos heads to Kenya to visit Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp with a population of around 380,000 people – most of them Somali.

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UN News.

 
Somalia:Top UN relief official visits Mogadishu to assess drought situation

PHOTO:

Somalia:R/wasaare C/weli oo xafiiskiisa ku qaabilay wafdi ka socday Q/Midoobay.SAWIRRO

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