MH60S

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Steep learning curve? WFP sends more relief food to Somalia by ship

The World Food Program is still trying to get food to the starving masses of south Somalia as reported here, and is going to try ships again, despite the frequent pirate seizures of WFP ships:
The World Food Programme has resorted to alternative ways of shipping relief food from the Mombasa Port to thousands of hunger-stricken people in Somalia.

Mr Leo van der Velden, WFP deputy country director, on Wednesday said the UN agency, together with Care International, are using Dubai vessels to ship relief cargo. He said Dubai contractors are moving 1,000 metric tonnes of food aid for WFP and 2,400 tonnes for Care to Somalia.

Velden warned that the drought and famine situation in Somalia, especially the southern part, had worsened just like in northern Kenya. He said currently, only 1,500 metric tonnes of food could be delivered while over 43,000 metric tonnes worth US$ 32 million is required. He said escorts have been requested from Kenya Navy and Somali coalition forces to protect transporters from sea pirates...

...Due to piracy in the Somali waters, he said, land transport services through Mandera to Bay and Bakol in Somalia had been set up. He said the port of Merka in south Somalia is being used for small-scale shipments while navy protection has been requested by main shipping agents to restart the use of the port on a larger scale.

Velden said the Kismayu port is at the moment closed for all UN activities following the killing of their staff early this year.

In a Press statement, Velden said about 2 million people in southern Somalia were at risk of starvation.
I think it's time for some of the NATO forces to lend a hand here, along with Kenya and perhaps South Africa. The UN cannot allow another Rwanda-sized disaster to occur because the member nations seem to be waiting for the US and Britain to sail to the rescue and the others are too weak and or timid to do the right thing. If the US were to go in, I would suggest taking over the whole damned country and disarming every warlord and restoring order. And if anyone criticizes the effort, let them provide a plan for how to save the 2 million starving Somalis without taking the country over in a "caretaker status."

One of the problems with the UN is the endless number of "donor" meetings that need to be held to see if someone will step up to the plate and provide escorts or more.

Of course, no one wants to get stuck in the Somalia quagmire, either.

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