Saturday, August 6, 2011

Aid industry in spotlight as drought worsens in Horn of Africa

Capital Ethiopia News \: "The Horn of Africa is seeing its worst drought in more than half a century. It has unleashed a humanitarian catastrophe claiming thousands of lives mainly in the war-torn, lawless Somalia.
With famine officially declared in two regions of this country, controversy has just set on whether the aid industry has responded quickly enough and whether the deaths of Somali children in their thousands could have been prevented.
The Prime Minister of the Horn of African state, which has been one huge battlefield for about two decades now, said on Thursday that the UN is preventing aid from reaching victims of drought in his country.
The so-called world’s largest food aid provider – World Food Program (WFP) – was hoarding supplies in its Mogadishu warehouse, and failing to distribute them to those in need while thousands of Somalis were dying for months just next door, according to the PM, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali.
This situation is more appalling, for this is happening while WFP is soliciting generous donations from its traditional and emerging financiers, in a region where the aid agencies are said to have set up a sophisticated early warning system."