miércoles, 10 de agosto de 2011

UN agencies step up deliveries of food aid to famine-stricken Somalis

5 August 2011 – 
As more and more Somalis, the majority of them women and children, continue to flee the famine in their homeland, United Nations agencies are ramping up efforts to meet the rising humanitarian needs, especially nutrition for the youngest among them.The number of Somali refugees arriving in the three Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya has increased to an average of almost 1,500 in the first four days of August, up from 1,300 a day in July, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
So far this year some 116,000 Somali refugees have arrived in Dadaab – about 76,000 of them in the last two months alone, the agency noted. Some 80 per cent of the arrivals are women and children.
When they arrive at the camps, they receive a 21-day food ration from the UN World Food Programme (WFP), plastic sheets, cooking utensils, jerry cans, blankets, sleeping mats and soap.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is scaling up its activities to assist refugees in Dadaab and surrounding host communities, delivering life-saving support in health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene and child protection.
“Nearly half the children who make it to the camps from southern Somalia are malnourished,” the agency noted in a news release, adding that reports of children dying along the way from Somalia or just as they arrive at the camps are “disturbingly common.”
UNICEF has increased supplies of ready-to-use therapeutic food to hospitals and nutrition stabilization centres in the Dadaab camps and surrounding host communities for the treatment of malnutrition in children under five.
The agency is also working with local health authorities to set up a therapeutic feeding centre in the border community of Liboi to ensure that families crossing into Kenya have access to life-saving health and nutrition services as quickly as possible.
“Many Somali families who cross into Kenya at Liboi do not realize they must walk another 100 kilometres before arriving at the refugee camps in Dadaab,” says Olivia Yambi, UNICEF Kenya Representative. “The health of some malnourished children crossing at Liboi is so precarious that they simply cannot wait until they get to Dadaab for treatment.
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