Monday, July 18, 2011


The crisis has been brought on by a deadly combination of severe drought, with no rain in the region for two years, a huge spike in food prices and a brutal civil war in Somalia, where it is too dangerous for aid workers to operate.
Melissa Fleming, a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokeswoman, agreed. ''The drought, compounded by prevailing violence in southern and central parts of the country, is turning one of the world's worst humanitarian crises into a human tragedy of unimaginable proportions."

Up to 2,000 Somali refugees are crossing the border into Ethiopia every day, UNHCR said. Thousands of families arrive in poor conditions often after walking for days in search of food.

Guterres said the influx is overwhelming for UNHCR and other international and local aid organizations: "Nothing can compare to what we have seen this month."

"I believe Somalia represents the worst humanitarian disaster in the world," he said.

Somalia’s agriculture is collapsing as the war-torn East African nation faces a drought that might cause the deaths of as many as 2.5 million people, Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said today.
The three camps – Dagahaley, Hagadera and Ifo – known collectively as the ‘largest refugee camp in the world’ – were established 20 years ago to house up to 90,000 people escaping violence and civil war in Somalia. With no end to the conflict in sight, there are now more than 350,0003 people crowded into the camps’ perimeters, while the number of new arrivals is surging. Thirty-thousand men, women and children are stranded in the desert of northeastern Kenya, in what has rapidly become a humanitarian emergency.

Thanks to a gnarl of red tape between the State and Treasury departments, it’s currently illegal for America to provide southern Somalia so much as a cup of rice or a bag of corn, due to the vagaries of an ill-defined law against providing material support to terrorists. People starve as a result of economics and politics. Food serves as a weapon, particularly in Somalia, which has had no government to speak of for the past 20 years, longer than any other country on earth.

"Unless this legal impasse is cleared, nearly 3 million people facing famine are likely to starve."

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