Somalia crisis demands continued attention and commitment

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Mothers wait with their children to receive food aid in Mogadishu

The United Nations is calling for continued support to humanitarian operations in the Horn of Africa despite the difficulties in delivering aid to those affected especially in Somalia.

Speaking in Geneva, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Mark Bowden said although half a million Somalis have been saved from the brink of starvation, four million are still in need.

He said high levels of assistance need to be sustained.

"We still need to ensure that we increase access to food. The crisis will not be over or start to be addressed until the second of Somalia's harvest comes in August or September. We need to provide support to the population during this period which will involve a new lean season. The health and nutrition challenges remain and the challenges of displacement are also critical in Somalia."

Bowden said there was need to go beyond food distribution to include helping Somalis restore livelihoods and become self reliant.

The United Nations has appealed for 1.5 billion dollars to support the humanitarian aid programme in Somalia during 2012.

Duration: 32″

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