Week of 17-09-2007, United Nations emergency coordinator John Holmes said that conditions in Somalia had eclipsed those in Darfur and Chad as the most pressing African humanitarian crisis.
Malnutrition and disease are soaring here amid political insecurity and a string of natural disasters, including flooding and drought.
With many Western charities afraid to work in the dangerous country, the transitional government is struggling to cope, but lacks experience and money. Recently, aid groups complain, the government made the crisis worse by trying to tax incoming humanitarian assistance, setting up roadblocks that hindered food deliveries and even intimidating charities and the displaced by
accusing them of supporting "terrorists."
About 350,000 Somalis remain refugees from fighting this year in Mogadishu between government soldiers, supported by thousands of Ethiopian troops, and an insurgency consisting of anti-government clans and Islamist fighters. About 1.5 million people require humanitarian aid, an increase of 50% in recent months. Malnutrition rates are skyrocketing. About 17% of children in central and southern Somalia, or 83,000, are malnourished, according to UNICEF. Some 13,500 children, including Shukri, are so severely malnourished that they are at risk of starvation.
Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
Labels: African humanitarian crisis, disease, malnutrition, Somalia, starvation