በቀላሉ የመሥሪያ ማገናኛዎች

ዜና

Humanitarian organizations working in Somalia are appealing for $174 million to fund projects in various parts of the country next year.

Aid organizations working in Somalia say they need the money to provide critically needed assistance to about one million Somalis in various parts of the country next year.

"With regard to Somalia, at the moment it is a country in continuing humanitarian crisis that is chronic," said Maxwell Gaylard, humanitarian coordinator for Somalia. "One in four children do not live to the age of five. Malnutrition in parts of Somalia, if those rates existed in Kenya or anywhere else in the world, there would be a hue and cry. So the figures inside Somalia are not very good."

Mr. Gaylard says although the northern and the central areas, Puntland and Somaliland, are not badly off in terms to humanitarian assistance, the southern parts, notably the Gedo region, are a source of concern. In November, the U.N. food security analysis unit in Somalia warned that poor rains and increasing insecurity in the southern region was hindering distribution of relief assistance.

The head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for Somalia, Philippe Lazzarini, says increased piracy of ships off the Somali coastline has made delivery of assistance to the region expensive and difficult.

Mr. Lazzarini says it costs 25-percent more to transport food by road to Somalia than by boat. Pirates off the Somali coast have seized up to 32 boats, including some contracted by U.N. organizations, since March.

The aid agencies say they need the money to help ameliorate food shortages occasioned by crop failures caused by drought, effects of the tsumani, and fighting various diseases including HIV/AIDS in a country with a life expectancy less than 50 years.

Last year humanitarian agencies in Somalia appealed for $162 million to assist the war-torn country. Donors gave slightly more than half.

Somalia has been without a stable central government since 1991.

A recently installed transitional government controls only a small area in the North.

The capital, Mogadishu, as well as other areas in the south remain in the hands of various armed groups and are not accessible to most aid agencies.

The European Union is sending a special mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea this weekend in an attempt to reduce tensions between the two nations.

The diplomatic team will be led by Lord David Triesman, the British minister for Africa, and plans visits to both Addis Ababa and Asmara.

Foreign ministers from EU nations also issued a statement urging Ethiopia and Eritrea to take immediate steps to settle differences over their border.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Monday expressed “profound concern” over the rise in tensions.

Both countries have increased troop activities near the border, while Eritrea has restricted the movement of United Nations peacekeepers and threatened to expel some of the U.N. force.

Meles Says He Will Withdraw Some Troops

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said he would abide by a U.N. request to pull back troops from its border with Eritrea, while maintaining what he called a "proportional force" in the area.

In a report to the Ethiopian parliament, Mr. Meles said Eritrea believes it can defeat Ethiopia in a war. He said the only way to discourage Eritrea is to show that it cannot win a war it might start.

Mr. Meles said it will be necessary to leave a proportional Ethiopian force near the disputed border until a lasting peace can be secured. He did not elaborate on the size of that force.

Eritrea and Ethiopia fought a two-year border war which ended in 2000 after tens of thousands died.

ተጨማሪ ይጫኑ

XS
SM
MD
LG