News / Africa

Somalia Declares Drought as Food Prices Skyrocket

A Somali woman holds a malnourished child as they wait for medical attention at Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, April 28, 2014.
A Somali woman holds a malnourished child as they wait for medical attention at Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, April 28, 2014.
VOA News

The Somali government has declared a drought in six regions as monitors warn that food prices are soaring in the affected areas.

The government on Thursday established a $500,000 drought relief fund and renewed an appeal for international help to combat growing shortages of food and water.

Somali Agriculture Minister Abdi Ahmed Mohamed told VOA's Somali Service that officials hope to prevent a repeat of the famine three years ago that killed more than 200,000 Somalis and forced hundreds of thousands more to flee to neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia.

"The purpose of this government measure is avoid the situation we witnessed back in 2011, and enable our various institutions to be ready for any swift action to support and assist those affected by the drought," Mohamed said.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network warned Friday that food prices are rising rapidly in several areas, a situation it blames mainly on inter-clan fighting and efforts by al-Shabab militants to cut off towns under government control.

In Xudur,  in the Bakool region, the price of the staple food red sorghum was 142 percent higher in June compared to one year earlier, according to the U.S.-funded network, which noted that humanitarian access to some areas is "nearly non-existent," and that informants in those areas report increased levels of acute malnutrition.

The drought-affected regions include Gedo, Bakool, Galgadud, Hiran and Lower and Middle Shabelle.

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Comment Sorting
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
July 19, 2014 10:32 PM
The world is continuing to have a blind eye when it comes the suffering of Somali women, children and elderly people. This anguish imposed upon us by Western supported government, war-lords and Al Shabaab.
Couple of days ago UN has confirmed in its Somali report that the Somali current president, foreign minister and other Western supported war lords together have embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars of State fund. Looting State coffer by local politicians is a long time known fact. We urge UN to freeze all foreign accounts belongs to our politicians, if not the suffering of common people will continue.

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