Posted by: africanpressorganization | 1 July 2009

Somalia / More than 170,000 people have been displaced from the capital





Somalia / More than 170,000 people have been displaced from the capital



MOGADISHU, Somalia, July 1, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Daily press briefing by the office of the spokesperson for the UN secretary-general.


In Somalia, a total of more than 170,000 people have been displaced from the capital, Mogadishu, since early May, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).  The continuing displacements are the result of fresh fighting between Government forces and Islamist fighters.


OCHA is warning that a spell of drought is also endangering the livelihoods of more than 700,000 pastoralists.


Despite the on-going fighting and insecurity, OCHA reports that humanitarian agencies, including the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), and the UN Children’s agency (UNICEF), have continued to provide urgently needed lifesaving assistance to the affected population.


WFP also reports that since late 2007, when naval escorts started protecting ships loaded with WFP food heading to Somalia, not a single ship carrying the agency’s food has been attacked by pirates.  This positive development has ensured that a vital lifeline to some 3.5 million needy people is kept open.


Under the European Union’s Atalanta operation, which started in December last year, WFP has been able to deliver more than 400,000 metric tons of food into Somalia, through Mogadishu, Merka, Bossaso, and Berbera ports.


WFP remains extremely grateful to the European Union for committing itself to escorting ships carrying WFP food for this year.


WFP is, however, worried about any rise in Somali piracy attacks against ships carrying humanitarian assistance and commercial cargoes to Mombasa port, in neighbouring Kenya.



United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General


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