Thursday, September 17, 2009

Politics and starving children

The World Food Programme says US curbs are in part behind its move to shut its Somali feeding programmes for more than 100,000 acutely malnourished children. Aid workers have told the BBC the cuts are the result of a freeze on funding by the United States Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. The US embargo is stopping American aid funds from reaching the vast areas of southern and central Somalia, where the UN estimates half the population is now in need of food aid.

The US restrictions affect funding for areas controlled by groups designated as terrorist. Washington has imposed sanctions on the hardline Somali Islamist group, al-Shabab.

"We take all precautions to ensure that our food only goes to the most needy and is not handled by any particular political groups in Somalia or elsewhere and in particular al-Shabab in Somalia," Sheeran, executive director of the WFP said . "The WFP is working with the USA to try to resolve these difficulties."

In the meantime the children of Somalia are going without the food they so badly need.

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