Also In Global Health News: WFP In Somalia; Ugandans Displaced By Landslides; Polio Vaccination Campaign In Nigeria; Famine In Chad

Nearly 50% Of Food Aid Sent To Somalia Never Makes It To People In Need

“As much as half the food aid sent to Somalia is diverted from needy people to a web of corrupt contractors, radical Islamist militants and local United Nations staff members, according to a new Security Council report,” the New York Times reports. “The report, which has not yet been made public … outlines a host of problems so grave that it recommends that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon open an independent investigation into the World Food Program’s Somalia operations,” the newspaper writes (Gettleman/MacFarquhar, 3/9). The Associated Press adds: “A U.N. diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because the report has not yet been released, confirmed to The Associated Press that ‘a significant diversion’ of food delivered by the U.N. food program is being diverted to cartels who were selling it illegally” (Lederer, 3/10).

Health Conditions Worsen For Ugandans Displaced By Landslides; May Soon Be Forced To Relocate

Inter Press Service examines the conditions facing the people of eastern Uganda after landslides hit several villages, forcing the displacement of more than 300,000 people. In anticipation of higher rainfall than normal, “Uganda’s government has asked residents in low-lying and flood-prone areas to move [to higher ground] before tragedy hits. The ministry for disaster preparedness has already started registering people in high risk areas for relocation,” the news service writes (Kyalimpa, 3/9). IRIN reports on the unsanitary conditions facing the Ugandans displaced by the landslides. Hundreds have become sick with diarrhea and depleted drug stocks are being reported in Bukalasi, Uganda (3/1). “Authorities, however, ruled out the more deadly cholera, which had been reported as having broken out,” the Monitor reports (Naturinda, 3/9). According to a WHO statement, “Health Action in Crises (HAC) has provided US$50,000 to WHO Uganda to help procure urgently needed medical supplies to respond to the health needs of several landslides caused by heavy rains that started 25 February” (3/10).

Violence In Nigerian City Forces Polio Vaccination Campaign Delay

Violence in the central Nigerian city of Jos has forced a polio vaccination campaign to be delayed until March 13, IRIN reports. The scheduled campaign is part of the week long regional outreach effort to vaccinate at least 85 million children in West Africa against polio. The campaign is targeting some 215,000 children in Jos alone (3/9). In related news, the WHO on Friday highlighted Nigeria’s progress in the fight against polio, Reuters reports. The article examines the government’s efforts to contain the disease in the past and how recent support by traditional and religious leaders is believed to have bolstered the number of children who have received the polio vaccine (Nebehay, 3/5).

Famine Network Says Food Reserves To Run Out Soon For People In Chad

“The poorest households in Chad will find themselves with no food reserves in the coming weeks, according to the U.S. famine early warning systems network,” IRIN reports, in a story that examines the impact of the famine on children and livestock living in the region (3/9). “As part of its assistance efforts, [the Food and Agriculture Organization], in coordination with the Chadian government, has put in a place a project to distribute 615 tonnes of animal food. It is also planning another project to distribute seeds for 33,000 vulnerable households,” afrol News reports. “Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) has begun a scheme to provide 47,000 tons of food for 750,000 people affected by drought in the regions of Kanem, Bahr-el-Ghazal, Guera, Batha, Lac and Hadjer Lamis,” according to the news service (3/8).

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