Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Horn of Africa: UNHCR warns of an influx of refugees in Mogadishu

Some 40,000 people fleeing famine converged on Mogadishu in search of water and food since the beginning of July, said Tuesday, July 26 a spokeswoman of the High Commissioner for Refugees. "About 30 000 others arrived in camp 50 kilometers from the center of the capital," said Vivian Tan, a UNHCR spokesman in a press briefing, saying that at least 100,000 people had arrived in Mogadishu two months.

According to UNHCR, about a thousand people displaced by famine arrive daily in the Somali capital, where food stocks are inadequate. "This causes serious scuffles and also looted, said the organization. The result is that many people, among the weakest and most vulnerable, end up empty-handed despite the best efforts of aid agencies and charitable ".

An airlift of aid to Mogadishu must be in place on Tuesday, yesterday announced the World Food Programme (WFP), with priority delivery of nutrients to children. The current drought in the Horn of Africa, the worst for sixty years, has already killed tens of thousands of lives and threatens 12 million people in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Sudan and Uganda.

The situation is particularly critical in Somalia, where the UN has formally declared the famine in two southern areas, controlled by Islamist insurgents Shebab, which prohibit access to some humanitarian organizations. The UN has convened an emergency meeting Monday in Rome, which has disappointed the humanitarian organizations seeking financial commitments clearer.

Both Jacques Diouf, Director-General of FAO, the French Minister of Agriculture, Bruno Le Maire (who had called this meeting under the French Presidency of the G20), evaded questions about the exact amounts promised or paid by the contributors. The British NGO Oxfam said it was "shameful that only some of the richest economies and most powerful were willing to show their commitment today to save lives." A donor conference to be held Wednesday in Nairobi.

France Info radio Tuesday morning, the French agriculture minister, Bruno Le Maire, on Tuesday called for "massive investment" in local agriculture in developing countries to "support the farmers", the "pastoral", the "irrigation". The mayor also called for an agriculture, "too long neglected," "the heart of the global agenda", hoping that developing countries are able to self-sufficiency in food.

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