Top UN relief official meets with Somali president on humanitarian situation

2 December 2004
Jan Egeland

United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland held talks today in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, with President Abdullahi Yusuf of Somalia to discuss the international response to that country's complex humanitarian problems.

Last month the UN launched its 2005 humanitarian appeal for Somalia, seeking $164 million for programmes to address needs caused by continuing insecurity, worsening drought and deep poverty. UN aid programmes are based in the Kenyan capital.

Somalia has been without a central government since the ousting of President Siad Barre in 1991.

On 10 October, Somalia's Transitional Parliament, sitting in Kenya, elected Mr. Yusuf to serve as President - a move which marked the culmination of a two-year negotiation process.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says out of a population of about 7 million people, more than 350,000 Somalis remain refugees, while 370,000 to 400,000 have been internally displaced by years of conflict and drought.


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