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.

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