U.N. Says Crisis In Southern Somalia Will Worsen Through 2011

The “crisis in southern Somalia is expected to continue to worsen through 2011, with all areas of the south slipping into famine,” according to a U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report for countries sending aid to the region, Reuters reports.

The report said the overall emergency likely would continue growing for at least three to four months, with food shortages in refugee areas expected to reach crisis levels in August and September, according to the news agency. OCHA called for an additional $1.4 billion “to provide life-saving assistance to more than 12 million people” in Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia, Reuters notes (7/29).

According to AlertNet/Reuters, an extension to the Dadaab refugee camp that houses 440,000 people has been opened, and at least 3,000 refugees were expected to be settled there by the end of Thursday, a representative from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said (Migiro, 7/28). UNHCR on Thursday “revised upwards the amount of funds it requires to effectively respond to the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa, asking donors to provide an additional $8.6 million on top of the $136.3 million already requested,” the U.N. News Centre writes (7/28).

In another article, Reuters examines a U.N. monitoring group report it obtained, which says “[t]he single greatest obstacle to humanitarian assistance in Somalia during the course of the mandate has consistently been the denial of access by armed opposition groups, principally by elements of Al-Shabab” (Malone, 7/28).

IRIN examines how “the drought could affect people living with HIV and hamper prevention efforts” (7/28).

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