UN emergency relief coordinator warns of worsening food crisis in Somalia

UN emergency relief coordinator warns of worsening food crisis in Somalia

Kenzo Oshima, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, has expressed "deep concern" about a worsening food crisis in Somalia, where the failure of seasonal rains in the spring and autumn has led to severe food shortages.

In a statement issued late on Monday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that, although the UN system was currently in a position to deliver food, stocks were depleted and an estimated 40,000 metric tonnes of food were urgently needed to assist some 300,000 people at risk of immediate starvation. Another 450,000 people were also increasingly vulnerable, the statement said.

Of particular need is non-food assistance - such as water and medical supplies -to secure the well-being of tens of thousands of children who are at growing risk of malnutrition and disease, according to OCHA.

Mr. Oshima is urging the international community to provide the needed resources to forestall a serious humanitarian crisis, the statement said, noting that the UN and its partners were doing their utmost to reduce vulnerability and to stimulate livelihoods.