Thursday, October 6, 2011

International Red Cross Begins Aid Push in Somalia

The BBC is reporting that the International Red Cross has begun a huge distribution of aid to one million people in famine zones in Somalia.

According to the BBC, a continuous operation will transport the food in trucks from the coast deep into areas controlled by the Islamist militant group, al-Shabab.  The operation began following what the Red Cross terms difficult negotiations with al-Shabab, which banned many Western aid agencies from its territory two years ago.

Red Cross spokesman, Geoff Loane, told the BBC its operation was a three-month distribution, targeting vulnerable people like farmers and pastoralists.

The organisation will also provide seed to nearly a quarter of a million farmers so that they can begin to recover from the region's worse drought in 60 years.  According to Mr. Loane, "If all goes well, hopefully these farmers will be able to harvest some crops by the end of the year."

Meanwhile, the BBC states that its Africa analyst, Martin Plaut, says that if the transportation operation is successful it could "break the back of the famine."

Let's hope so...

VEJ

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