Golden Press

U.S. Policy Examines Somalia


WASHINGTON — Somalia is still in the pits.

At a congressional hearing experts, said 2.85 million Somalis are in need of humanitarian aid. This year’s drought in Somalia is the worst the Horn of Africa or East Africa has seen since the 1950s.

And things are not looking up said experts.

“Our experts at FEWSNET and FSNAU have studied the most recent data they have collected, and they expect the perilous situation in the Horn of Africa to worsen through the end of the year,” Nancy E. Lindborg, assistant administrator for Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian said.

The data examines the limited labor opportunities, the dwindling food stocks, and sky-high cereal prices, which is causing households to go hungry.

Many Somalis have left their country in hope of better assistance and food in refugee camps spread throughout East Africa: Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia.

These camps have been experiencing their own wave from the drought. Malnutrition is at an all time high in Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya and Boqolmayo refugee camp in Ethiopia.

“One out of every two Somalis now arriving in Ethiopia is acutely malnourished, and one out of three arriving in Kenya is acutely malnourished,” Lindborg said.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Reuben Brigety, II of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration said the camps are so over filled with refugees from Somalia that Ethiopia opened a 6th camp and has announced an opening of a 7th camp along with Djibouti.

Is it because there hasn’t been an existing government since the 1991 or terrorists groups funded by al-Qaida?

Experts debate that both have been the reason for the flux in the country.

“The increasing piracy problem off the coast of Somalia stems from years of instability, lack of governance, and economic fragility on land,” Yamamoto said. He added, the U.S.plans to work closely with the Transitional Federal Government Parliament Prime Minister Abdiweli M. Ali for the next 12 months.

For the 2011 Fiscal Year, the proposed level is about $21 million to support the Dual Track Policy.

The Dual Track Policy developed by the State Department has two paths. One path is to continue support of the Djibouti Peace Process, the Transitional Federal Government, its National Security Forces, and the African Union Mission in Somalia. Path two is outreach. Don Yamamoto, assistant secretary bureau of African Affairs, said this path broadens the U.S. engagement to include communication with Somaliland, Puntland, and regional and local anti-al-Shabaab groups throughout central Somalia.

With this Dual Track Policy set in place additional funds will also be given to Somalia this year and Somalia refugees.

“The U.S. Government is also providing $48 million in humanitarian assistance to help those in Somalia, as well as over $76 million in humanitarian assistance for those who have fled Somalia,” Yamamoto said.

This will be the first time in two years the UN has delivered aid to south central Somalia, an area controlled by the group al-Shabab.

To Learn More About the issues discussed in this article refer to links below:

Huff Post World – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timothy-a-ridout/somalia-is-not-a-state_b_894734.html

BBC News Africa http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14144893

Sunatimes.com – http://www.sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1178

*I also encourage you to do your own research on current events happening in Africa as well as past events.

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July 13, 2011 - Posted by | AFRICA and its countries, Health, International, Life In DC, Politics | , , , , , , , , , ,

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