40 000 famine-hit Somalis flee to Mogadishu

2011-07-26 11:14

Geneva - About 40 000 famine-hit people have fled to the Somali capital Mogadishu over the past month in search of food and water, the UN refugees agency said on Tuesday.

"Over the past month, UNHCR figures show that nearly 40 000 Somalis displaced by drought and famine have converged on Mogadishu in search of food, water, shelter and other assistance," said Vivian Tan, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

"A further 30 000 have arrived at settlements around Mogadishu.

"In total, it is estimated that Mogadishu has received up to 100 000 internally displaced people over the last two months. The daily numbers are still around 1 000 in July," added the spokesperson.

With relief supplies entering the country currently insufficient to cope with needs, the jostle for food "has caused serious crowd crushes and even some looting".

"As a result, some of the weakest and most vulnerable are left with nothing, despite the best efforts of agencies and charities," said the UNHCR.

The UN last week declared famine in two parts of southern Somalia.

An estimated 3.7 million people in Somalia - around a third of the population - are on the brink of starvation and millions more in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda have been affected by the worst drought in the region in 60 years.

  • jen - 2011-07-26 12:52

    My heart goes out to these people, but what happened to the "Africa will solve its own problems" (Malema amongst others said it) and with the extremist groups like El Shabaab operating in the South, Westerners are risking their lives to get provinsions to these people. What happened to planning for natural disasters, having a vision of 'if disaster strikes' we have a plan A and B? Why can't the El Shebaab pirates help out with their millions instead of building multi million dollar mansions in Nairobi, Kenya. In fact where are all the Muslim Extremist friends of this country e.g. Iran. Why is it always the imperialist West that should help.

  • Heather Fleet - 2011-07-26 13:13

    These people are always struggling to survive foods shortages and yet conitnue to have one child after another, you will see a mother with kids spaced about a year apart all dying of starvation and yet will have another baby. They cannot feed themselves and the kids they have and yet continue to breed and expect the rest of the world to provide for them. Why do so many African governments push having many children and yet cannot support these large populations. There is no common sense in Africa at all.

      jen - 2011-07-26 13:33

      As a South African living in a neighbouring country to Somalia, I see that on daily basis. My gardener's wife, just had her 8th baby. Like in SA, the government is only in it for themselves - they are just a bit longer at it. The trillions of the West that are being wasted on Africa in one form or another is mind boggling. Millions disappear into the pockets of the crooked ministers and yet their voters are so accepting of their plight - unemployment, general cowboy style attitude of policemen, drivers, no services, murder and mayhem, piracy, disease, you name it. And yet the government, in this case Somalia cannot plan during the good years for disaster like this. They really bite the hand that feeds them!

  • DeonOlivier - 2011-07-26 13:54

    There is no african word for "plan" africans live in the here and now. Tommorow is not real it doesn't exist yet so why worry about it?

  • HeyApple - 2011-07-28 13:19

    With the USA deficit crisis, Africa should brace itself to cope with reduced help from USA. As some of the commentators have said, family planning is a huge factor in surviving tough times anywhere in the world. Resources are limited and Africa for one should wake up and realize this.

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