Distress heightens as Somalia blocks food aid

The international community is scrambling for solutions as Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf ordered an immediate stop to the delivery of food aid to the Lower Shabelle region. The French navy escorted two ships with aid cargo to Somalia’s shores, but the ports have been closed, and the aid could not be unloaded. Airports have likewise been closed, and a road convoy was blocked from penetrating the region. According to a spokesman for the World Food Program, the Somali government has not furnished an explanation for preventing the delivery of aid. The agency also said it was forced to stop a convoy of trucks bringing food from Mogadishu to Joha after roadblock toll fees shot up from USD75 to USD500. Aid agency employees were likewise prohibited from moving in the region. The Lower Shabelle is presently one of the hardest struck regions in Somalia following a growing humanitarian crisis in the country.

Source: Alarm as Somalia halts food aid (BBC)

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