Citing security concerns, Somalia’s interior minister has reportedly asked to be informed of any humanitarian operations in famine-hit regions in the southern part of the country, particularly in areas controlled by militant group al-Shabab.
Somalia’s transitional government issued the request in a statement where it also noted the safe passage of Turkish aid workers into the famine-struck Lower Shabelle region, a local news agency, Shabelle Media Network, says.
Few international aid agencies are able to access parts of southern Somalia controlled by al-Shabab because of the militant group’s ban on aid work in the area. The majority of aid groups, including U.N. agencies, operate out of Mogadishu.
Meanwhile, donors continue to pledge funds for relief programs in Somalia and its neighbors, which are also affected by the drought and where thousands of Somalis have fled to seek aid in refugee camps. Among the latest donations come from India, which said it would provide $8 million to the World Food Program.
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