WFP considers return to rebel-held areas in southern Somalia

Women and children sit on their sacks of United Nations World Food Programme food at a distribution on 23/06/2008 on the edge of the southern Somali town of El Barde three kilometres from the border with Ethiopia

The UN food agency is considering going back to areas in southern Somalia controlled by the anti-government group Al-Shabab after the militants called for aid agencies to return.

The World Food Programme or WFP pulled out of the region last year after threats to the lives of its workers.

Julie Walker reports.

WFP says with needs so great in southern Somalia, it is working with the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the country to explore every possibility to return, but only if conditions allow, and if the necessary security clearance from the UN is granted.

The agency is already feeding more than 1.5 million people in the rest of the country.

It withdrew from areas under Al-Shabab control at the beginning of 2010 because of threats to the lives of staff and unacceptable operating conditions, including the militant group's imposition of informal taxes.

Julie Walker, United Nations.

Duration: 38″

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