Somalia hails UN famine declaration

2011-07-20 12:03
Mogadishu - Somalia's transitional government welcomed a UN declaration on Wednesday that famine has hit two southern regions of the war-torn nation, saying they hoped it would boost aid to the stricken areas.

Up to 350 000 people are affected by famine in the rebel-held southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle areas, the UN announced in Nairobi.

"At least it is great that the world has recognised the magnitude of hardship the poor Somalis are facing," Abdulkadir Moalim Nur told AFP, a minister in the president's office.

"The acknowledgment of the severity in those regions may help the shortage of food by sending famine assistance including medicine by UN agencies," he added.

According to the UN, the extreme drought is affecting more than 10 million people in the Horn of Africa, in the most severe food crisis in Africa for two decades.

Both famine areas are controlled by al-Qaeda inspired Shabaab insurgents who are battling the weak Western-backed government but have authorised the return of foreign aid almost two years after expelling most relief groups.

Nur warned that other areas also remain at severe risk.

Lack of food and medicine

"There are other regions which are also very food insecure in southern and central Somalia," Nur said.

Thousands have fled into the capital Mogadishu, and aid workers there said they supported the famine declaration.

"We knew for a while that there was famine in the country, but we waited for the declaration of the UN," said Mohamed Yakub, a Somali aid worker.

"People are dying from a lack of food and medicine. First their crops were devastated by drought, then their animals died, and finally they lost the family they loved," he added.

"The decision is not only timely but is very much welcome," said Khadija Hassan, from a Somali woman's aid organization.

"I hope more women and children are saved by famine donations," she added.

Read more on:    un  |  shabaab  |  somalia  |  east africa  |  east africa hunger  |  africa drought

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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
3 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Pedal power to hit Kouga this May

Hundreds of adrenaline junkies will descend on Kouga this May for the annual action-packed MySpar Mountain Bike Classic.

 
 

Outdoor

Extreme Kiteboarding in Pumping Conditions!
The Arctic becomes an unlikely surfing hotspot
A romantic holiday to beat the winter blues
Why should you do a 5k?

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong pull between going your own way and feeling obligated to the ideals or expectations of others. This can create...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.