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.
Distribution of food, seed, and medical relief intended for drought victims in Somalia has been suspended, the International Committee of the Red Cross announced Thursday. The aid intended for up to 1.1 million people has been held up because local authorities blocked distribution of ICRC food and seed relief in the Middle Shabelle and Galgaduud regions in central and southern Somalia.
Hundreds of armed attackers from a South Sudanese tribe that suffered a devastating assault last month charged into three villages, burned them to the ground and killed 57 people, an official said Friday, an act that perpetuates a cycle of revenge attacks in the world’s newest nation. The UN mission in South Sudan estimates at least 60,000 people have been affected by the on-going violence.
Food Inflation Abates As Grain Stocks Rise –The Financial Times
FAO said on Thursday its food index had fallen last month to its lowest level in more than a year, reflecting reduced inflation across Asia. The drop in corn, wheat, rice, soyabeans and other agricultural commodities’ prices pushed the FAO food index in December to its lowest since October 2010.