Monday, July 25, 2011

Alarm over the desperate food shortage in Somalia

Somalia’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva has sounded the alarm over the desperate food shortage in his country, where famine has been declared in the south.

For several years, Yusuf Muhammad Isma'il has ensured a diplomatic presence for Somalia, hit by civil war over the past 20 years and now suffering from the effects of drought and famine.

In an interview with, the ambassador said that in addition to the political crisis the country was now facing its worst humanitarian crisis in 60 years. Humanitarian organisations and the UN have raised the alert over the health and food situation in the Horn of Africa in general and in the Somali refugee camps in Ethiopia in particular.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced on July 19 in Geneva that the mortality rate had reached 7.4 deaths per 10,000, which is "sharply above the sub-Saharan baseline", according to Paul Spiegel, the UNHCR's chief of public health.

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