Somali famine: Red Cross aid push in Islamist areas Skip to main content

Somali famine: Red Cross aid push in Islamist areas

Children queuing for a meal at a WFP-feeding centre in Somalia's capital Mogadishu Tens of thousands of Somalis have fled their villages in search of food
The International Red Cross has begun a huge distribution of aid to one million people in famine zones in Somalia controlled by Islamist militants.
A continuous operation will transport the food in lorries from the coast deep into areas controlled by al-Shabab.
The Red Cross says it is its biggest such operation anywhere in the world.
It followed difficult negotiations with al-Shabab, which banned many Western aid agencies from its territory two years ago.
The UN has declared a famine in six regions of Somalia - mostly in al-Shabab areas.
Tens of thousands of people have fled to seek food aid in the capital, Mogadishu, which is ruled by the weak interim government, or in camps in neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia.
Last month, al-Shabab began moving people out of displacement camps, run by local charities in Islamist areas, and returning them to their villages.

Start Quote

If all goes well, hopefully these farmers will be able to harvest some crops by the end of the year”
Geoff Loane ICRC spokesman
The group said it wanted people to prepare land ahead of the rainy season.
But no crops are expected to be ready for harvest until January and aid workers said a massive food distribution operation would be needed for months to come.
The Red Cross has worked in Somali for 20 years - and it said it used this track record to negotiate access with the Islamists.
Red Cross spokesman Geoff Loane told the BBC its operation was a three-month distribution, targeting vulnerable people like farmers and pastoralists.
The organisation will also provide seed to nearly a quarter of a million farmers, so that they can begin to recover from the region's worse drought in 60 years.
"If all goes well, hopefully these farmers will be able to harvest some crops by the end of the year," Mr Loane said.
BBC Africa analyst Martin Plaut says if the transportation operation is successful it could break the back of the famine.
The UN estimates that in September half of the four million Somalis in need received food aid. With the Red Cross reaching another million or more, it could mean that three-quarters of the victims of the famine and drought will be helped.
To this should be added money sent home by the Somali diaspora and aid from Islamic organisations, our analyst says.
East Africa drought map


Popular posts from this blog

Chronology of the Press in Burma

1836 – 1846 * During this period the first English-language newspaper was launched under British-ruled Tenasserim, southern  Burma . The first ethnic Karen-language and Burmese-language newspapers also appear in this period.     March 3, 1836 —The first English-language newspaper,  The Maulmain Chronicle , appears in the city of Moulmein in British-ruled Tenasserim. The paper, first published by a British official named E.A. Blundell, continued up until the 1950s. September 1842 —Tavoy’s  Hsa-tu-gaw  (the  Morning Star ), a monthly publication in the Karen-language of  Sgaw ,  is established by the Baptist mission. It is the first ethnic language newspaper. Circulation reached about three hundred until its publication ceased in 1849. January 1843 —The Baptist mission publishes a monthly newspaper, the Christian  Dhamma  Thadinsa  (the  Religious Herald ), in Moulmein. Supposedly the first Burmese-language newspaper, it continued up until the first year of the second Angl

Thai penis whitening trend raises eyebrows

Image copyright LELUXHOSPITAL Image caption Authorities warn the procedure could be quite painful A supposed trend of penis whitening has captivated Thailand in recent days and left it asking if the country's beauty industry is taking things too far. Skin whitening is nothing new in many Asian countries, where darker skin is often associated with outdoor labour, therefore, being poorer. But even so, when a clip of a clinic's latest intriguing procedure was posted online, it quickly went viral. Thailand's health ministry has since issued a warning over the procedure. The BBC Thai service spoke to one patient who had undergone the treatment, who told them: "I wanted to feel more confident in my swimming briefs". The 30-year-old said his first session of several was two months ago, and he had since seen a definite change in the shade. 'What for?' The original Facebook post from the clinic offering the treatment, which uses lasers to break do

Myanmar Villagers Tell of 150 Homes Burned in Deadly Army Air Attacks

Artillery fire and aerial bombardments by Myanmar forces killed three civilians and burned scores of houses in their communities in mid-March amid fighting between Myanmar forces and the rebel Arakan Army in war-ravaged Rakhine state, villagers recounted Monday at a press conference. Villagers from Kyauktaw township in western Myanmar's Rakhine state discuss the government military's attacks on their communities at press conference in Sittwe, March 30, 2020. They made the comments after traveling from in Kyauktaw township to the state capital Sittwe to give testimony on a series of attacks on civilian dwellings amid a government-imposed internet shutdown in nine townships in Rakhine and neighboring Chin state, cutting off vital information about the fighting. They villagers accused the Myanmar Army of conducting an aerial bombing on civilian communities that destroyed about 150 homes and a monastery in Pyaing Taing village, while government soldiers on the g