News / Africa

UN Humanitarian Chief Meets Famine Victims in Somalia

Valerie Amos, center in white coat, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator talks to a Somali mother from southern Somalia at Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia, August 13, 2011
Valerie Amos, center in white coat, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator talks to a Somali mother from southern Somalia at Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia, August 13, 2011

The United Nations humanitarian chief has visited Somalia's capital where tens of thousands of people are in desperate need of food and medical assistance.

Valerie Amos visited a hospital Saturday during her tour of Mogadishu and met with people who have fled their homes in southern Somalia in hopes of escaping the famine. Amos said the sight of malnourished, emaciated children in the hospital was deeply distressing.

She said it is crucial to help these children and their families however they can, though security remains difficult.

The U.N. is scaling up its aid efforts in Mogadishu, since the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militant group began withdrawing from the city.

Al-Shabab once controlled nearly all of Mogadishu and still controls large swaths of central and southern Somalia.  The group has tightly controlled the delivery of aid to famine victims and has banned access for many international aid agencies.

The African Union, which maintains a peacekeeping force in Somalia, said Saturday it had discovered a large cache of weapons left behind by the withdrawing militants.

An AU spokesman said troops found and destroyed 137 artillery shells in a Mogadishu neighborhood formerly controlled by the militants.  The spokesman said they believe the shells were stockpiled to make bombs.

The famine was, in part, sparked by a devastating drought that is affecting the entire Horn of Africa region.

The U.N. says thousands of Somalis have already died from the effects of the drought. The crisis has forced hundreds of thousands of Somalis to trek long distances to find help in crowded camps in Mogadishu, and in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia.

Most of the famine zones are controlled by al-Shabab militants.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid