See also:
» 11.03.2010 - UN confirms Somalia food aid corruption
» 01.03.2010 - Somalia’s TFG hailed after one year in power
» 23.02.2010 - Journalist abducted in Somalia
» 17.02.2010 - Somali refugees moved to Ethiopia
» 08.02.2010 - Kenya dismiss reports on Somali army training
» 02.02.2010 - Somali militant group declares affiliation to al Qaeda
» 26.01.2010 - Official condemns Mogadishu bombing
» 20.01.2010 - Tighten controls on military assistance to Somalia - AI

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2.6m Somalis face hunger

afrol News, 20 May - More than 2.6 million Somalis are at the brink of facing hunger, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned, blaming the problem to the deteriorating humanitarian situation exacerbated by soaring food prices, the weak currency and worsening drought.

At least one million Somalis - 900,000 from the capital Mogadishu - have been internally displaced by violence.

Somalia's food crisis is expected to be worsened by bad Gu seasonal rains, which will subsequently lead to poor cereal harvest, shortages and soaring prices.

The two consecutive seasons of poor rains left 60,000 pastoralists without food.

FAO's Chief Technical Adviser for Somalia, Cindy Holleman, that half of Somalia’s total population could face an acute food and livelihood crisis by the end of the year if the Gu rains are greatly below normal, food prices continue to soar and civil insecurity worsens.

“It’s an extremely worrying situation,” she told the UN website.

Cereal prices have surged by as much as 375 per cent in the past year, reaching historic levels.

As a net importer of cereals, prices reached historic levels last year and are expected to remain high.

Despite being forced to reduce spending on meals and non-food items, many urban households still are without enough money to buy food.

The head of FAO's Somalia operations, Graham Farmer, said the "frustrating security situation" has not stopped them from operating in the trouble-ridden Horn of African country.

He said there is need to boost the production, incomes and livelihoods in rural and peri-urban areas.

FAO has several projects in Somalia, including an emergency and rehabitiation programme and the agricultural projects.

The governments of Sweden and Italy have so far responded to the agency's appeal for over US $18 million to cover its 2008 operations in Somalia, a country without a proper functioning government since 1991, when the former dictator, Mohamed Siad Bare was overthrown.

Meanwhile Uganda's northeastern populations are also dying of hunger caused by drought. So far, close to 40 people have died of hunger in the Karamoja region. But this figure is expected to blow up to over 200.

The drought, followed by flooding in the rainy season, destroyed crops as well as killed large and small ruminants.

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