UN official voices concern over reports of rape of Somali women fleeing famine

The United Nations official leading the fight against sexual violence in times of conflict today voiced concern over reports that women and girls fleeing famine in Somalia were being raped or abducted and forced into marriage by bandits and other armed groups as they tried to reach refugee camps in Kenya.

Somalia’s education sector further threatened by famine exodus, UN warns

Immediate action and funding are urgently needed to prevent a dramatic worsening of the educational situation in war- and drought-wracked Somalia, where some 1.8 million children are already out of school, with a knock-on effect on access to health care, the United Nations warned today.

World must aid Somalia at historic juncture on its road to stability – UN envoy

Recent political and military improvements in war-torn Somalia offer an “extraordinary moment” of opportunity for progress and great challenges, including from warlords and terrorists, the top United Nations envoy in the country said today, urging the world community to provide more financial and logistical support.

UN moves on two fronts to combat life-threatening famine in Horn of Africa

The United Nations is moving on two fronts to counter the worsening food crisis in the Horn of Africa, with an immediate infusion of food in an area where 640,000 children alone are threatened with acute malnutrition, and longer-term steps to spark an agricultural recovery.

Somalia: UN agency airlifts emergency aid for famine-hit people in Mogadishu

The United Nations refugee agency today airlifted the first of three consignments of emergency relief supplies for famine-stricken people in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, the first time the agency has delivered aid to the city by air in five years.

UN envoy welcomes news of Al-Shabaab vacating Somali capital

The United Nations envoy for Somalia today welcomed the news that the Islamic insurgent group Al-Shabaab has begun to leave the capital, Mogadishu, and called on the strife-torn Horn of Africa nation's government to use the opportunity to ensure aid delivery to civilians in need.

UN declares famine in another three areas of Somalia

The United Nations today declared a famine in three more areas in drought-ravaged Somalia, bringing to five the number of regions in the Horn of Africa country where acute malnutrition and starvation have already claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people.

UN envoy welcomes step on sanctions against violators of children in Somalia

The United Nations envoy advocating for the rights of children during armed conflicts today welcomed the Security Council’s decision to agree to apply sanctions against any individuals or entities that violate children’s rights.

When a food security crisis becomes a famine

For many months United Nations aid agencies have warned of an impending crisis in the Horn of Africa as drought, failed harvests and fighting in some areas led to increasing food insecurity. Now conditions are so grim that the UN has turned to a word it uses sparingly and specifically – famine.

UN agency appeals for urgent help for Somali refugees

The United Nations refugee agency said today that the flood of Somali refugees into Ethiopia could overwhelm the ability of humanitarian agencies to help them, and called for urgent international assistance.