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.

Join the conversation! 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.
Read more on:    un  |  shabaab  |  somalia  |  east africa  |  east africa hunger  |  africa drought 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks to floor USA by 38 - bookies
Debate over Lancaster rages on
US Eagles ready to take off
Samoan duo in hot water
Traffic Alerts

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Listen to your body and your emotional reactions. Know when to slow down or stop. It is more

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


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 network.


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.