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WHO: More than half of Somalis need humanitarian aid/Growing Measles cases

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    Re: WHO: More than half of Somalis need humanitarian aid/Growing Measles cases
    Spanish to English translation

    Aid groups are unable to reach more than 2 million Somalis
    Saturday July 23, 2011 8:09 EDT Print [ - ] Text [ + ]
    By Barry Malone

    THE Adow, Kenya (Reuters) - Aid groups are unable to reach more than two million Somalis suffering from famine in the Horn of Africa, where Islamic insurgents control much of the worst affected areas, the agency said Saturday United Nations power.

    Officials from the World Food Programme (WFP) said that the southern parts of Somalia controlled by the group linked to al Qaeda Al-Shabaab, which imposed a ban on food aid in 2010, are among the most dangerous in the world.

    "We still have to reach 2.2 million people. It is the most dangerous environment in which we are working in the world. But people are dying. This is not politics, but to save lives," said Josette Sheeran, director WFP Executive, in northeastern Kenya.

    The drought in the region of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia is the worst in 20 years and affects about 10 million people, according to the UN. In southern Somalia, 3.7 million people are at risk of starvation.

    WFP is one of several groups that were expelled from the area controlled by the rebels last year and are now ready to return. Sheeran said the agency was considering launching food from airplanes in regions that are inaccessible by land.

    Aid groups also face buried mines in border areas in which Al Shabaab forces fought in Kenya and Ethiopia earlier this year, said Regis Chapman, director of the WFP in Somalia.

    Sheeran visited the pastoral town of El Adow about 100 kilometers from the Somali border. A Reuters witness said he had won skeletons lying in the arid lands that surround the place.

    More than a third of children in the area are malnourished and a third of adults receive food deliveries, according to UN data.


    In Adow, Nimau Witou, 75, takes three bags of flour, soy beans and a can of cooking oil that has just given WFP, lamenting the loss of all their cattle. The help received it should last her and her family a month.

    "It's a nice gesture, but it is not enough," said Witou Reuters. "And not the kind of food we are accustomed, it is the wrong kind of food. But it is our only livelihood," he said.

    Along with Sheeran was the French Minister of Agriculture, Bruno Le Maire, which will provide a report to an emergency meeting of the UN in Rome on Monday.

    Al-Shabaab has accused the UN of exaggerating the seriousness of the political crisis and labeled the decision to declare two areas of famine in Somalia.

    Much of the aid agencies were expelled from southern Somalia in 2010 could not come back, they said, reversing an earlier promise.

    The besieged Somalia Government holds little power outside the capital, Mogadishu, where government forces and African are struggling to stem an insurgency that lasted four years.

    The Government has condemned the ban on the insurgents to aid groups.

    "Extremists are literally and deliberately starving the population," said Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Abdiweli in a statement. "The insurgency itself is the root of hunger," he added.

    The cycles of droughts and floods have become increasingly common in the Horn of Africa and Eastern Africa, mainly due to global warming.

    "We know that humanitarian aid is not the long-term solution," said Professor Abdi Kadir Mohamed Elementary in El Adow. "We must be better prepared for drought," he said

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  • WHO: More than half of Somalis need humanitarian aid/Growing Measles cases

    Spanish to English translation

    WHO: More than half of Somalis need humanitarian aid/Growing Measles cases

    Geneva, July. 22 (ANDINA). More than half of the Somalis need urgent humanitarian aid for the famine in the country, warned the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The WHO Special Envoy for Somalia, Marthe Everard, it is estimated about 3.7 million people. Earlier this year the figure was still 2.4 million, he said, told DPA.

    In parts of the regions most affected by drought in half of the population suffers from malnutrition while. The daily mortality rate is 6 out of 10 000 inhabitants, said Everard.

    In the south there are also 554 000 malnourished children, one in three children. Also, the growing number of measles patients in Mogadishu is a problem, said Everard.