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860,000 need food assistance in Somalia: Experts

Posted on Feb 05 2014 | IANS

Nairobi, Feb 4 : Some 860,000 people require urgent humanitarian assistance in Somalia between now and June, with 51, 000 children facing increased risk of death, experts have said.

In a joint assessment by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia (FSNAU), a project managed by UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) showed additional interventions will be required to protect livelihoods and build the resilience of communities against future shocks, Xinhua reported.

"The food security condition of over two million additional people remains fragile and is classified as Stressed," reveals the assessment which was released in Nairobi.

"This group of households may struggle to meet their own minimal food requirements through mid-2014, and they remain highly vulnerable to shocks that could push them back to food security crisis."

According to the report, successive seasons of near to above average rainfall in most parts of Somalia, low food prices and continued humanitarian response have brought down the number of people requiring urgent, lifesaving humanitarian assistance from its peak of 4 million during the 2011 famine.

The humanitarian crisis in Somalia remains one of the largest and most complex in the world and aid agencies say the shortfall in funding jeopardises efforts to build Somalis' resilience to shocks.

The UN, however, says the situation has significantly improved since 2011 when 4 million Somalis were in extreme food security crisis.

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