Aid groups say that improved harvests and food donations have ended risk of starvation, but warn that ongoing war in Somalia could still reverse gains made.
In a study of weather patterns, improved local harvests, and availability of food aid, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden told reporters today that “famine conditions are no longer present.”
The victory is a fragile one, however, as an internationalized war in Somalia rages across the southern part of the country. Drought conditions, too, could return in May with Somalia’s dry season. Some 2.3 million people in Somalia and nearly 10 million people throughout the Horn of Africa still depend on food aid for survival. Still, the turnaround is seen as evidence by aid agencies that emergency humanitarian aid can make a difference.
“125,000 children no longer face severe malnutrition – thanks largely to the efforts of the Somalis themselves and the humanitarian aid they’ve received. That can only be excellent news, but we must not be complacent,” said Senait Gebregzhiabher, the head of Oxfam in Somalia, in an e-mailed statement.
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