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25 Aug 2008 14:30
The number of people needing humanitarian aid in Somalia has leapt 77% this year to more than 3,2-million, an authoritative new study has shown.
The report by the Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU), seen by Reuters on Monday, paints a bleak picture of a crisis compounded by failed rains, rising food prices, inflation and the worst insecurity in the Horn of Africa nation since the early 1990s.
“Somalia is now facing the worst security situation in the last 17 years, with increased armed conflict and fighting, targeting of humanitarian aid workers, military build-up, increased sea piracy and political tension,” the report said.
“This situation is severely undermining economic activities and humanitarian delivery, thus contributing to the overall deterioration in the humanitarian situation.”
The FSAU was set up by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation to provide humanitarian agencies with reliable data from the lawless country.
More than 8 000 civilians have died since the start of last year in fighting pitting Somalia’s interim government and its Ethiopian military allies against Islamist insurgents.
The violence has driven about one million more from their homes, triggering what aid workers say is the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa.—Reuters
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