Aid agencies highlight deteriorating situation in Somalia

March 26th, 2008 - 12:28 pm ICT by admin  

Geneva, March 26 (DPA) Aid agencies worldwide appealed Wednesday to the international community to focus on Somalia, where they said the humanitarian situation in Somalia was rapidly deteriorating. Growing numbers of people were in need, but aid agencies were less and less able to respond adequately, 39 international organisations warned in a joint letter published Wednesday.

“There is a growing climate of fear and uncertainty in most of Somalia,” the letter said. “Previously safe areas are now becoming inaccessible due to spreading insecurity.”

Up to 20,000 people were being forced from their homes each month in the capital Mogadishu because of fierce fighting, according to the agencies, including Oxfam, Save the Children UK and Care International.

One million people were now internally displaced, and two million Somalis needed humanitarian assistance because of record high food prices and drought in many areas. Attacks and killings of aid workers and the looting of relief supplies were exacerbating the situation.

It was the second warning issued by the aid groups in five months. In October, they spoke of “an impending humanitarian catastrophe”.

Since then, another 360,000 people had been newly displaced and an additional 500,000 people were reliant on humanitarian assistance, the groups said in their joint letter, timed to coincide with a debate at the UN Security Council.

Forecasts of further drought meant that food and water shortages were set to worsen.

The letter said the humanitarian crisis would continue to deepen without a political solution to the current crisis.

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