In Somalia, Conflict Denies Aid Groups Access to Drought-Affected Communities

Somalis from the drought-ravaged region of the country obtain water by trekking more than 20 kms. Aid agencies in Somalia express increasing concern over reaching communities threatened by a looming drought. Photo by: Mohamed Gaarane / IRIN

Aid agencies in Somalia are increasingly concerned over how they will reach communities threatened by a looming drought, noting that these are located in areas controlled by armed groups.

“There is a significant drought-affected population who are difficult to access because they live in areas controlled by armed groups,” U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos said Feb. 3 during a press briefing, as quoted by IRIN.

Conflict and violence also force aid agencies to occasionally pull out of communities they are serving, according to World Food Program spokesperson Peter Smerdon.

Thousands of Somalians are suffering from drought due to the absence of rain from October to December 2010. Amos said a larger crisis is to be expected if rain does not come in April.

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.