Mark Bowden, who leads the UN relief efforts in Somalia, says many people remain in a precarious position and would need assistance on a regular basis. Bowden said last year’s aid enabled relief agencies to reduce the number of people at risk of outright famine from 750,000 to 150,000, and prevented the spread of diarrhoeal illness and other infectious diseases through chlorination of water and increased health services.
After an intense year of diplomacy sparked by revolution and repression across the Arab world, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is taking stock this week of an entirely separate democratic advance a half-continent away in West Africa.
Recently, after travelling on the bumpy to non-existent “roads” of South Sudan, I came away impressed — impressed with the hopeful vision of a country that has enormous potential to move quickly into a state of relative food self-sufficiency, perhaps within less than a generation. While on my field visit to the Eastern and Central Equatoria states, I witnessed the collective efforts of FAO and WFP.