WFP declares Somalia famine catastrophic, seeks funds for effective intervention

By Peter Kahare - 24 Jul 2011 21:39:0 GMT
WFP declares Somalia famine catastrophic, seeks funds for effective intervention

NAIROBI - Kenya. World Food Programme (WFP) has declared the famine in Somalia catastrophic saying it requires US$ 580 Million approximately Kshs.52. 2 billion for effective intervention to secure more than 3 million people facing starvation.

WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in Nairobi Sunday 24th that the UN body has managed to reach some 1.5 million famine victims in Somali out of over 3.7 million people facing starvation in the country.

"It is unimaginable the kind of suffering I have seen in the horn of Africa. I have met women who tell of how they had to abandon some of their children along the way who were too weak to continue the trek," said Sheeran.

Sheeran said the WFP will in few days begin airlifts of famine relief supplements including vital supply of special nutritious foods for malnourished children into Somalia to avert the situation that is fast becoming a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.

The Horn of Africa region comprises Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea and parts of Uganda. Kenya is facing food shortage and high commodity prices which the WFP says has gone up by 70 per cent while in Somalia food prices have risen by 240 per cent.

Most of the people in this region are too weak to go in search of food, and now the WFP is preparing to open up a number of new routes - by land and air - into the core of the famine zones to establish the necessary operating conditions, including those that will secure the safety of humanitarian personnel.

Sheeran was accompanied by Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd, Canadian Minister for International Co-operation Beverly Oda, President of the Humanitarian Forum Dr. Hany El-Banna and WFP Ambassador Against Hunger Peter Bakker.

Canadian Minister for International Co-operation Beverly Oda said the Canadian government has launched the East African Drought Relief Fund together with Canadian tax payers to help relieve the populations of the pain they are suffering as they face hunger and starvation.

Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya that has a maximum capacity of 90,000 people are currently hosts at least 440,000 people in three refugee camps.

Top Image Credit: © Alessio Laconi