- The World Food Programme (WFP) has announced an indefinite suspension of its operations in Southern Somalia due to increasing security concerns.
“Rising threats and attacks on humanitarian operations, as well as the imposition of a string of unacceptable demands from armed groups, have made it virtually impossible for the World Food Programme (WFP) to continue reaching up to one million people in need in southern Somalia,” the agency has said in a statement today.
The statement said the WFP's humanitarian operations in southern Somalia have been under escalating attacks from armed groups, leading to this partial suspension of humanitarian food distributions in much of southern Somalia.
“WFP is deeply concerned about rising hunger and suffering among the most vulnerable due to these unprecedented and inhumane attacks on purely humanitarian operations, said the statement, adding that the agency is continuing to provide life saving food distributions in the rest of the country, including the capital, Mogadishu, reaching more than two-thirds of the hungry it has been targeting - or 1.8 million people.
The WFP statement also said in addition, resources and relief workers are being re-deployed from southern areas in the event that people start moving away from areas where food distributions have been suspended.
“WFP is an impartial, non-political humanitarian agency that has been working in partnership with the people of Somalia for more than 40 years, providing assistance to the poorest of the poor throughout Somalia’s years of conflict and before. The recent pressures on our work from armed groups in southern Somalia are impeding our humanitarian mandate,” said the statement, further explained that supplies and staff in the affected areas have been moved to more safer places.
“WFP is working closely with its partners to pre-position supplies and prepare to provide assistance to any population movements either within Somalia, or across the country's borders into neighbouring countries. WFP’s offices in Wajid, Buale, Garbahare, Afmadow, Jilib and Belet Weyne in southern Somalia are temporarily closed, and food supplies and equipment have been moved to safer areas in order to ensure that food assistance continues to reach as many vulnerable people as possible,” the statement said.
The agency has also noted as a concern that even in good years, Somalia is only able to meet 40 percent of the food needs of its population through internal production, further adding that in the last five years, local production has averaged only about 30 percent of food needs in Somalia. WFP’s operation in Somalia is fully funded in the coming months to reach all the projected beneficiaries.
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.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
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.