News

    UNICEF: Thousands of Somali Children at Risk

    A Somali woman cooks food for her children in a camp set up for internally displaced people in Dinsoor, January 5, 2012.
    A Somali woman cooks food for her children in a camp set up for internally displaced people in Dinsoor, January 5, 2012.

    The United Nations Children's Fund warned that thousands of acutely malnourished children in Somalia are at risk of death because little money is available to help them. UNICEF said it has received only 12 percent of its $289 million emergency appeal for humanitarian operations this year.

    The famine declared in southern Somalia last year is over. But, that does not mean that the crisis is finished. Somalia remains the world’s most complex humanitarian situation.  

    The U.N. Children’s Fund reported that almost one-third of Somalis are unable to meet their essential food and non-food needs. About 70 percent of these people live in south and central Somalia, areas that have been wracked by conflict for years and recurrent drought.

    UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado said some 325,000 acutely malnourished children are in great need of assistance. She said her agency scaled up nutrition programs significantly between July and December at the peak of last year's crisis. But, those programs now are at risk.

    “This work continues and it is a huge operation that is saving children’s lives every day… Those who are most severely acutely malnourished are at imminent risk of death.This is a fact," said Mercado.

    "And those even moderately malnourished are also at significantly at higher risk of death. If we do not get funding, all of our programs will have to get cut back. That is just a fact," Mercado said.  

    The chronic state of war in Somalia intensified late last year, when Ethiopia and Kenya sent in troops to fight militant group al-Shabab. The Islamist group has banned most foreign aid organizations from operating in the territory it controls, hampering efforts to assist many Somalis in need of food.

    Mercado said insecurity and lack of access to affected areas remains a huge problem for aid agencies that are trying assist people in need.

    “One big area where it has influenced our programs significantly is, for example, immunization where we have 1.9 million children who have not been reached by immunization in the south and central zones because of access restrictions." Mercado added.

    "There are cases of measles now. The rains have just started and that generally brings with it a wave of disease," she added. "So, it is critical to reach those people in south-central Somalia with immunizations. 

    UNICEF noted Somalia’s famine in 2011 was not a one-season crisis. It said the recovery from last year’s drought and famine remains extremely fragile. It warned additional shocks, such as poor rains, less access, more displacement and disease outbreaks could easily tip communities back into disaster.

    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.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora