- UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for Somalia has made a short-term appeal of US $12 million for the first quarter of 2010 to mitigate chronically high rates of acute malnutrition in the Horn of Africa state.
Mark Bowden said without immediate funding, Somalia faces a deadly humanitarian crisis, one of the worst since1990s.
The war-torn and drought-ravaged Somalia is facing a humanitarian crisis with no funding so far raised or pledged for next year for food, water, sanitation, health and other needs that are pertinent to human survival.
“With roughly 4 million people in need of food aid, the war-ravaged country is in the midst of one of the worst humanitarian crisis since the famine in the 1990s,” Mr Bowden said.
Somalia is home to one of the world's longest-running humanitarian crises due to an ongoing civil war that began in 1991 and grew to involve neighbouring country Ethiopia in 2006.
Following the withdrawal of Ethiopian forces in early 2009, the southern half of Somalia fell into the hands of Islamist rebels. Severe drought has exacerbated the situation for the 3.6 million civilians in need of assistance.
Last Thursday, Bowden launched a $689 million appeal for aid, intending it to go towards 174 humanitarian projects in Somalia next year. Because last year's appeal was only met halfway, Mr Bowden's primary concern is that there will be no leftover funding from 2009 to "carry over" into next year.
Mr Bowden said that over the past year the number of people in need of assistance on a regular basis had risen from 3.17 million to 3.64 million, well over half the total population, while 1.18 million face an acute crisis of food and livelihood insecurity. Some 1.55 million are displaced.
He cited slow decision making in donor countries, a global downturn in humanitarian assistance, donor fatigue and the fear of aid falling into the hands of extremists among the reasons for the funding crisis. For 2009 humanitarian agencies received only about half of the $900 million sought for the year, thus allowing no carry-over for 2010.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
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afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.