Relief groups boost Mogadishu aid delivery

2011-08-13 20:04

Mogadishu - UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said on Saturday relief groups were ramping up aid delivery to tens of thousands of people affected by famine and drought in Somalia's war-riven capital Mogadishu.

More than 100 000 people have fled to Mogadishu from other drought-struck Somalia regions in search of food and water, but insecurity in one of the world's most dangerous cities is hampering aid flows.

"We are scaling up efforts in Mogadishu. The [UN refugee agency] UNHCR has brought in three planes of supplies including plastic sheeting and non-food items," Amos told AFP after a visit to Mogadishu.

UN relief agencies recently began airlifting emergency supplies to Somalia and the capital, where the displaced have been declared by the United Nations as facing famine.

"We felt we would not see famine again, but there it is. Children don't need to die needlessly. We absolutely need to work on long-term strategies," said Amos, the UN under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief co-ordinator.

Some 12 million people in parts of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia are in danger of starvation in the wake of the region's worst drought in decades.

War-ravaged Somalia is the country hardest hit by the Horn of Africa's drought, with five areas declared to be experiencing famine.