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U.N. Appeals For Increased Food Security Support In Sahel; Somalia Still Needs Food Assistance Despite Famine Recovery

“With some 11 million people in the Sahel at risk of hunger, the United Nations today appealed on the international community to increase support for food and livestock production in this vast region of Africa,” the U.N. News Centre reports. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) “is appealing for increased funding for aid to the most vulnerable farmers and herders in the Sahel,” the news service writes, adding, “Despite a previous appeal for a total of $113.1 million to support almost six million vulnerable people this year, only $19.4 million has been received, about 17 percent of the total.” The news service continues, “The western part of the Sahel region, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, and includes Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and parts of Sudan, Cameroon and Nigeria, is facing a swathe of problems, which are not only political but also involve security, humanitarian resilience and human rights” (9/4).

In similar news, “Somalia continues to make progress in its recovery from the 2011 famine, but some 870,000 people — most of them internally displaced persons (IDPs) — are predicted to require food assistance up to December 2013, according to new data from the [FAO's] Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) for Somalia,” IRIN reports. “[E]xperts warn that despite slight improvements, certain populations remain extremely vulnerable to food insecurity; some 206,000 children under the age of five are currently experiencing acute malnutrition — Global Acute Malnutrition rates over 15 percent — down from 215,000 in January,” the news service writes. “Visiting Mogadishu in July, John Ging, director of operations for the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said Somalia’s humanitarian needs were ‘immense’ and called on the international community to invest in the country, where just 33 percent of the $1.3 billion 2013-2015 humanitarian appeal has been funded,” IRIN reports (9/4).