Letters from Somalia III

Fri, 2008-04-04 16:55 by admin

Death and destruction aside, rising food prices, piracy and counterfeit bank notes add to the woes of the Somali people, Abdurrahman Warsameh writes for ISN Security Watch.

By Abdurrahman Warsameh in Mogadishu for ISN Security Watch (03/04/08)

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With warnings from some 40 local and international NGOs last month that the international community should get urgently needed humanitarian aid to Somalia comes the news late in March that hundreds of hungry Mogadishu residents, mostly women and children, looted trucks carrying food for local aid agencies, including the UN's World Food Programme.

Witnesses told ISN Security Watch that the people were so desperate for food that they stood in front of the moving WFP truck to stop it.

The trucks were reportedly on their way to warehouses outside the capital where aid agencies store food until it is ready for distribution.

African Union peacekeepers based in the area during the incident were quick to prevent the starving Somalis from getting their hands on the WFP wares.

This desperation in the Somalia capital is the interplay of myriad interlocking factors including war, drought and mismanagement by local and international stakeholders.

The price of staples such as rice, cooking oil, floor and fuel continues to rise steadily, making it very difficult for ordinary Somalis to keep food on the table.

Ali Yare, father of nine, has lived in Mogadishu all his life but believes this is the beginning of the end for his family. …

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