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Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:45AM
Displaced Somali children line up as they wait for food-aid rations. (File photo)

Displaced Somali children line up as they wait for food-aid rations. (File photo)

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has set plans to feed 1.6 million people in Somalia, who are in a dire need of food, Press TV reports. The UN world food body said more than one million of these people are in a state of crisis, living in areas formerly controlled by the Somali al-Shabab fighters. The WFP said it was optimistic of commencing its aid programs in the town of Kismayo, by shipping in aid through the port of Kismayo after many years. Local Somali officials, however, has appealed to the UN to immediately start sending in food aid and not assessment teams. “There is no water, food, medical aid to thousands of people. No more assessment of the humanitarian situation. Bring help to these suffering people. I am calling on both the Somali government and the aid agencies to meet the needs of these famine-affected people,” Interim Governor of Lower Juba Region Ahmed Mohamed Islam said. Following the capture of Kismayo town, which was the al-Shabab’s last bastion, Kenyan forces that are now part of the African Union mission in Somalia say that it’s time for aid agencies to return to Kismayo, promising them adequate security. The WFP also said a rapid food security and nutrition assessment carried out in Kismayo shows that half of the families were food insecure and nearly 24 percent of the children in Kismayo under the age of five were malnourished. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also launched a three year humanitarian appeal for Somalia, where it hopes to target 3.8 million Somalis in need. AO/HSN/HJL
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