Somali famine response 'ineffective'

2011-09-09 13:47
Addis Ababa - Aid trickling in to famine-stricken Somalia is ineffective and donors should focus on propping up the war-shattered country's capacity to handle crisis, a Somali official said on Thursday.

Famine has spread to six out of eight regions in southern Somalia, with 750 000 people facing imminent starvation, the United Nations says, and hundreds of Somalis are dying each day despite a ramping up of aid relief.

"It's [aid] not really as effective as we expected. The reason is we need institutional capacity for us to be able to manage and co-ordinate the aid," Deputy Finance Minister Ali Dirir Farah told Reuters in Addis Ababa.

"Unfortunately it seems more emphasis has been given to support local and international NGOs," he added, speaking on the sidelines of a meeting discussing aid for fragile states.

Somalia is among the world's most corrupt nations and in past weeks has been dogged by allegations that food aid intended for famine victims was being stolen and sold for a profit.

The rest of southern Somalia is expected to slide into famine by the end of the year, the UN says.

The lawless country has been without an effective central government since the dictator Siad Barre was toppled in 1991, after which first warlords then Islamist insurgents stepped into the power vacuum.

Large swathes of the Horn of Africa nation remain under the control of Islamist rebels who are fighting to overthrow the UN -backed government and have severely restricted relief efforts in their territories.

"We would like aid to be guided by exactly what is needed in the country, not from what donors and experts far away are thinking," Farah said of the response to the famine.

Joint security committee


Somalia is at the epicentre of a drought in the Horn of Africa region which is affecting over 13 million people.

The government blames the famine on the al-Qaeda-linked al Shabaab rebels, who seek to impose a strict version of sharia law on the nation and are bent on striking the region's main economies.

At a regional conference in neighbouring Kenya, Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said the militants had systematically looted grain stores, extorted food and taxes from farmers and prevented starving people from reaching help.

"As a region, we cannot afford the luxury of allowing al-Qaeda an opportunity to establish a firm presence in the Horn," Ali told the conference.

"We should consider establishing a joint security committee, within the auspices of the [regional] Intergovernmental Authority on Development [bloc]."

While a small harvest is expected in January, following rains in October, the situation is unlikely to improve signicantly until the main harvest of 2012 in August.

Aid agencies say they are only able to get food aid to 1 million of those in need because the al-Qaeda-affiliated rebel group, al Shabaab, which controls much of the south, will not allow food shipments in.

Instead, agencies are using food and cash vouchers which hungry families can exchange for commodities in local markets.

Famine exists where at least 20% of households cannot access enough food, over 30% are acutely malnourished and two people per 10 000 die every day, according to the UN.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  somalia  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be some tension that is caused through social conflicts -- personal interests versus obligations. You may feel an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.