A top United Nations relief official today urged donors and the media to pay closer attention to Somalia, where a major humanitarian crisis has been all but forgotten.
The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Jan Egeland, made his comments in Nairobi, Kenya, after he wrapped up over the weekend a three-day mission to Somalia, where he met with top officials for talks on humanitarian problems in the Horn of Africa nation.
Mr. Egeland said Somalia had reached a turning point with the establishment of a transitional government. The Transitional Parliament, sitting in Kenya, had elected Abdullahi Yusuf on 10 October to serve as President - the culmination of a two-year negotiation process.
For UN agencies to be effective in their efforts to capitalize on this momentum, they would need a strong response to the $164 million humanitarian appeal for Somalia, he stressed.
The UN launched its appeal last month for programmes to address continuing insecurity, worsening drought and deep poverty. UN aid programmes are based in the Kenyan capital.