First Published: 2005-05-19

Continued food shortage threatens Somalia

Famine monitor warns of continued food shortage in Somalia if late rains occur in southern region.


Middle East Online

About a million people are in need of humanitarian support

NAIROBI - A United States-funded famine monitoring group on Thursday warned of continued food shortage in Somalia unless it rains in the country's breadbasket southern region.

Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET), which is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), said about a million people were in need of humanitarian support in the Horn of Africa country.

FEWS NET said the April-June rainy season had been delayed in parts of the agricultural regions of southern Somalia which account for more than 50 percent of the country's cereal produce.

"Of particular concern are the Shabelle Valley and parts of the Juba riverine area, where the start of the season was delayed, and crop germination has been poor," the group said in a statement received by AFP in Nairobi.

"About 50 percent of the country's annual cereal production comes from these regions, and unless late rains occur, the country will likely face further shortages of staple food," it added.

Of the 164 million dollars (122 million euros) appealed for to help Somalia by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), only eight percent (12.7 million dollars) has so far been provided.

"In the south, clan conflicts in parts of Bakol-and-Bay and Gedo regions displaced civilians and limited humanitarian access. Malnutrition rates remain high in both north Gedo and the Juba riverine areas (17.2 percent and 19.5 percent respectively) with high child mortality rates," the group said.

"However, despite the availability of resources, food aid agencies were not able to provide relief food to 136,000 people who are facing humanitarian emergency in these areas due to insecurity and access problems," FEWS NET added.

Somalia has not had a recognised government for more than a decade since dictator Mohammed Siad Barre was toppled in 1991 and the Horn of Africa country plunged into clan warfare.

Insecurity and attack of aid workers in the country of up to 10 million people have hampered swift delivery of humanitarian supplies.


Libya to investigate 'slave auction' footage

Iraq top court declares Kurd referendum unconstitutional

Saudi Arabia, Arab allies push for unity against Iran, Hezbollah meddling

15 women killed in food aid crush in Morocco

Rare moments of joy at Arabs’ unprecedented World Cup qualifications

UN chief horrified by Libya slave auctions

Qatar 2022 chief has no regrets over hosting World Cup

Gheit says Lebanon should be 'spared' from regional tensions

Syria ‘de-escalation zone’ does nothing to stop civilian deaths

Is a demilitarised Palestinian state a viable option?

S&P affirms good Saudi credit ratings

Israel president faces big backlash over Palestinian scarf

Sudan leader to visit Russia Thursday

Seven years into Libya’s civil war, the chaos continues

Lebanon FM will not attend Arab League Iran summit

Syrian forces liberate Albu Kamal from IS

Israel votes to shut migrant centre, deport Africans

Diplomats from Iran, Russia, Turkey discuss Syria

Libya to investigate ‘slave auction’ footage

Piece by piece, Iran moves towards a ‘new empire’

Netanyahu faces new questioning over corruption case

Syria troops, allies retake most of Albu Kamal from IS

EU cuts funding to Turkey in 2018 budget

Lebanon's Hariri arrives in Paris

Egypt opens Gaza border for first time since unity deal

US-Russia rift threatens fragile prospects for Syria peace

'Caliphate' in tatters but IS still a threat

Saudi Arabia recalls ambassador to Berlin over Gabriel Lebanon comments

Russia again vetoes renewal of Syria gas attacks probe

UN weighs bid to save Syria gas attacks probe

IS attack kills 26 displaced people in Syria

Saudi FM says Lebanon 'held hostage by Hezbollah'

Egypt to open Rafah crossing for 3 days

Turkish troops pulled from NATO drill amid new tensions

Six children among civilians killed in shelling of Eastern Ghouta

US official calls on Sudan to stop 'church demolitions'

Hariri set to leave Saudi Arabia for France

Fears of bombs, IS cells still haunt Mosul

Iraq retakes Rawa, last town held by IS

Riyadh striking deals with people detained in anti-graft purge

Iran criticises French Mideast policy

Russia again blocks UN resolution on Syria action

Israel military chief says ready to cooperate with Saudi Arabia

Egypt confirms death of wanted jihadist

UK denies link between citizen detained in Iran and £400m debt