Posted on December 4, 2010 by Buqaqable.net
NAIROBI, Kenya – The United Nations said Wednesday it is
Seeking $530 million for aid projects in Somalia next year,
And it called the country’s 20 years of strife a Catastrophe
That is “as urgent as ever.” The U.N. said the request is down 23 percent compared with the 2010 request. That drop is a result of a reassessment of food aid needs. But the U.N. said that despite fragile improvement in 2010 because of two good rainy seasons,
Somalia still has 2 million people in crisis, including nearly 1.5 million displaced people.Floods, drought and armed conflict disrupt access to health care, food, clean water and education,
the world body said in a statement released Wednesday. the priority in 2011 is to ensure that humanitarian assistance gets to those who need it, wherever they are,” said Mark Bowden,
The top U.N. humanitarian representative for Somalia. “Even with all the challenges of access and security in Somalia, we know it can be done because we managed in 2010.”
Somalia hasn’t had a fully functioning government since 1991 when warlords overthrew the president. Islamist militants have forced several international aid groups out south-central Somalia over the last year.
Nearly 2 million people in Somalia received food assistance during 2010, the U.N. said. Non-food items were provided for nearly 200,000 people displaced in the country.
Many internally displaced people and refugees who cross neighboring borders are fleeing fighting between Islamist militias and pro-government forces.
Kenya hosts hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees at the world’s largest refugee camp near the Kenya-Somali border. But Kenya has come under criticism in recent weeks for deporting refugees.
Kenyan authorities deported 140 Somalis from the coastal town of Mombasa last week, said Emmanuel Nyabera, a spokesman for the U.N.’s refugee agency.
On Monday, 130 people were dumped at the border town of Liboi from a refugee camp, and on Tuesday, around 140 people that were seeking refuge were denied permission to move away from the border, he said.
“It is a disturbing trend that we’ve raised with the government at the highest levels,” said Nyabera. The violence in their homeland means Somalis are automatically given refugee status.
Most of those deported were women and children who were dumped at the border by government vehicles and told to trudge back through the thorny scrub into war-ravaged Somalia, said Bashir Dedi, a town councilor in the border town of Liboi.
“These are the most vulnerable people,” he said. “It is really too sad.”
In early November the U.N. refugee agency appealed to Kenyan authorities to halt the return of Somali refugees from the border town of Mandera.
The U.N. agency said local authorities had ordered more than 8,000 Somali refugees — mostly women, children and the elderly — to cross back into Somalia despite what UNHCR said was “substantial risk.”
Associated Press reporter Katharine Houreld in Nairobi, Kenya contributed to this report
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