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Somalia's ills worsening humanitarian situation for hundreds of thousands - Annan

Somalia's ills worsening humanitarian situation for hundreds of thousands - Annan

Kofi Annan
Recent months have seen a worsening of the humanitarian situation in many parts of Somalia, with drought, conflict and displacement combining to affect some 700,000 people who live at, or below, subsistence level, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a report released today at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Although the United Nations has been able to maintain a strong presence in northwestern Somalia, access to the northeastern, central and southern areas remains restricted because of the volatile security situation, the Secretary-General says in his report to the UN General Assembly, which looks at assistance for humanitarian relief and the economic and social rehabilitation of the country.

Mr. Annan notes that security-related programme disruptions directly cause greater suffering among the Somali people, and calls on the Somali leaders throughout the country to ensure the safety of UN personnel and staff from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in the areas under their control, as well as to facilitate the provision of assistance to those most in need.

Despite these obstacles, the United Nations has continued to deliver humanitarian and development assistance in many areas of Somalia, and with more than 900 projects, the world body remains strongly committed to helping the country, the Secretary-General says.

"Unfortunately, the low donor response to the consolidated appeals in 2001 and 2002 prevents United Nations agencies from fully addressing the emergency needs in Somalia," Mr. Annan says, urging Member States to support humanitarian, recovery, and development activities in Somalia actively through the Consolidated Appeals Process and other mechanisms.