Food Aid Reaches More Than Half of Somalis in Need

Posted October 12th, 2011 at 8:40 am (UTC-5)
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The United Nations says food aid has been delivered to more than half of Somalia's people in need, but food insecurity will likely be a major problem into next year.

The U.N. humanitarian affairs office said Wednesday that more than 2.2 million people in Somalia have received food assistance, mostly in the famine-stricken south. However, the office said nearly two million others still need urgent aid.

It also said that despite an optimistic rain forecast, “the number of people in crisis will remain high” into 2012.

International aid groups are attempting to scale up relief efforts across southern Somalia, parts of which have been declared famine zones after an extended drought. But the agencies are still being hampered by a lack of access and security threats.

Militant group al-Shabab has banned most foreign aid groups from operating in areas under its control.

Food production is expected to improve in coming months, because the rainy season which is currently underway is expected to be normal. However, the December harvest usually provides only 35 percent of the southern region's yearly food production.