Saturday, July 26, 2014

U.N. Warns of a Food Shortage 3 Years After Somalia’s Famine
Map of Somalia and breakaway regions.
JULY 26, 2014

MOGADISHU, Somalia — More than 350,000 people here in Somalia’s capital are in acute need of food aid as the government and charities struggle to cope with the situation, the United Nations warned Saturday, and other Somali cities are also facing a similar crisis.

“The food security situation has worsened as early warnings highlight drought conditions in parts of Somalia,” a report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

“Aid organizations have been unable to meet the needs of over 350,000 estimated displaced people in Mogadishu,” it added, warning of “alarming malnutrition rates” in the capital.

Three years ago, more than 250,000 people, half of them children, died in a devastating famine.

Somalia’s new government, inaugurated in 2012 with international support after years of no central authority, was widely hailed as offering the best chance in decades to repair the war-ravaged country.

But reports of a hunger crisis inside the capital cast a further pall over the government’s record, after accusations of corruption as well as continued attacks by Islamist insurgents against even the most fortified areas.

The report blamed “funding shortages and a volatile security situation, which has at times restricted aid delivery into the settlements.”

This month the United Nations warned that Somalia was sliding back into an acute hunger crisis, with parts of Mogadishu facing emergency levels just short of famine.

The Somali government has said that the hunger situation is “a precursor to the situation in 2011 in its intensity.”

United Nations assessments also show “above emergency levels of malnutrition” in seven cities, including Garowe, Galkayo and Kismayo, with the “highest deterioration” reported in Mogadishu.

A version of this article appears in print on July 27, 2014, on page A7 of the New York edition.

No comments: