The head of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Italy called on Sunday on all parties involved in relief operations in famine-hit Somalia to work together to ensure that aid supplies arriving in Mogadishu are safely delivered to the tens of thousands in need.
“It is shocking what we see on the ground,” the Italian daily Corriere della Sera quoted Kostas Moschochoritis, head of MSF Italy, as saying. “Only a long-term, joint international effort will allow food supplies to reach those in need and spare thousands of lives.”
Most of southern Somalia is experiencing famine, which the United Nations says has put 750,000 people at risk of starvation, with hundreds of Somalis dying each day.
Four million more people are in need of aid in the Horn of Africa country which has suffered a severe drought as well as an ongoing conflict between the interim government and Islamist groups, including al Shabaab.
Al Shabaab, which is hostile to any Western intervention, controls many of the famine-hit areas. It banned food aid last year in the areas it controls and kicked many groups out, saying aid creates dependency.