Humanitarian Crisis Worsening, Says UAE Paper
Att.Editors: The following item is from the Emirates News Agency (WAM)
ABU DHABI,May 19
(WAM) - The humanitarian crisis in Somalia, which is reeling under the impact of a severe drought, is worsening by the day and the international community needs to do more to help the country, said a United Arab Emirates (UAE) newspaper.
In its Friday editorial, ‘Gulf Today’ said UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia Raisedon Zenenga has stated that the humanitarian crisis has deteriorated more rapidly than was originally projected.
People are dying and need protection, particularly women and children, as drought conditions force them to migrate from rural areas to town, and as sexual violence increases in displacement camps.
More than six million people are affected, of whom only about three million have been reached with food rations.
Besides, some 1.4 million children in Somalia are projected to be acutely malnourished this year, an increase of 50 per cent over last year.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, the figure includes more than 275,000 children who have or will suffer life-threatening severe acute malnutrition.
The women and children who make the trek, generally on foot, to places where they hope to find assistance, are often robbed. There have also been reports of sexual abuse, while some children have been conscripted into armed groups.
The UAE has been continuing its generous support to help the people of Somalia overcome their difficult living conditions.
In a latest kind gesture, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation has distributed 360 tonnes of basic food supplies to vulnerable people in Somalia, benefiting a total of 4,600 families.
A delegation from the Foundation supervised the coordinated procedures for food distribution in Somalia to beneficiary regions in Hargeisa, with large numbers of affected people, in coordination with the foundation’s local partners.
The aid included basic food supplies such as rice, flour, sugar, oil and milk, along with dates and baby milk.
On another front, Al Shabaab militants continue to create insecurity in the country through their deplorable actions. More than two million Somalis are currently displaced by conflict, which has lasted for more than two decades.
A legitimate federal government was established in 2012 in Somalia and the UN Security Council-mandated African Union Mission pushed Al Shabaab out of several key cities. But fighting continues to devastate the country.
A combination of drought, disease and displacement is taking a heavy toll on helpless people in Somalia. Alleviating their suffering is a humane duty for the rest of the world. Timely action can help save several lives. (WAM)