NGOs say nearly half the population of Somalia needs emergency aid. And
the need is increasing because of extreme insecurity, drought and record high
food prices. The situation is expected to deteriorate further, with regular
Somalis bearing the brunt of the problem.
Suying Lai, policy advisor for OXFAM
International in The Hague in the Netherlands, described how insecurity is
affecting humanitarian assistance. Lai said, "At the moment, because of the
increasing insecurity, they are increasing road blocks, meaning they are
increasing attacks on aid workers and kidnapping aid workers.
She continued, "It's becoming increasingly
difficult for the different international and local aid agencies to provide
assistance to the Somalis in need. At this moment there are actually more than
three million Somalis who are dependent on humanitarian aid. And more than one
million will be internally displaced people."
Lai says NGOs expect the
conflict to continue into the year 2009, which also means people will continue
to need aid, while space for aid agencies to operate is shrinking.