Aid Badly Needed in Somalia, UN Official Says

Somalis wait to receive food during a distribution drive by the World Food Program, U.S. Agency for International development and relief other organizations. The United Nations urges donors to fund its USD600 million appeal for Somalia, which it said is one of the world’s acute humanitarian crises. Photo by: Jamal Osman/IRIN

Somalia is facing one of the world’s most difficult and acute humanitarian crises, and adequate funding is badly needed to help 3.2 million people who rely on aid, a United Nations official said.

Mark Bowden, the U.N. humanitarian and resident coordinator for Somalia, stressed the need to address a funding gap in the USD600 million appeal for the African country. He said only 56 percent of the requirement has been met so far. 

The aid will fund projects in critical areas such as health, water and sanitation, nutrition and livelihood support in the country, the U.N. News Center reports. 

Somalia is plagued with severe child malnutrition, lack of employment opportunities and constant displacement due to ongoing conflict between the government and Islamist militant groups. An estimated 1.4 million people have been displaced and almost 595,000 are living as refugees in neighboring countries, the U.N. News Center adds.

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    Chiden Balmes

    Chiden, a correspondent based in Seoul, focuses on computer-assisted reporting to provide international development professionals with practical business and career information. He also contributes to the Development Newswire and the Global Development Briefing, two of the world's highest-circulation development publications.