UN: Situation in East Africa escalating
Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:37PM GMT
A child from southern Somalia walks in rain water at a refugee camp in Mogadishu, Sunday, July 31, 2011.
The United Nations has warned that the drought and famine crises in East Africa are escalating, endangering the lives of “an entire generation.”
“More than 12 million people in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti are in urgent need of help. And the number is growing daily,” Valerie Amos, the UN emergency aid coordinator, was quoted by dpa as saying on Sunday.
In Somalia where tens of thousands of people have already died of hunger, hundreds of thousands face starvation in one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in the world, Amos said.
Current fighting between Somali government forces and al-Shabab fighters has severely impeded the delivery of aid to people in areas under control of the anti-government group.
However, the UN official reiterated that they have “to reach the people, where they are, and that without delay.”
Amos added that their only aim is to save lives.
Al-Shabab group has said organizations, such as the World Food Program (WFP), that were previously banned by the group are not allowed to get back on the Somali soil. Fighters say these groups have “ulterior political motives.”
The WFP says it cannot reach 2.2 million Somalis who live in territory controlled by al-Shabab in south-central Somalia.
The UN has made a new appeal for another billion dollars on top of the same amount promised by the UN member states, Amos said. …