UNICEF says Somali children at high risk over hostilities

New York- US (PANA) -- The UN Children's Fund (UNCIEF) said on Thursday that Soma li children were at high risk as escalating hostilities against aid work had con t inued to hamper aid delivery.
UNICEF made this known in a statement made available to the Pan African News Age ncy (PANA) in New York, US.
It said it had postponed the dispatch of hundreds of tonnes of life-saving nutri tional supplies meant for the prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition for over 85,000 Somali children in central and southern regions of Somalia.
It said this was necessary due to increased hostility towards aid organisations.
The UNICEF also said the distribution of malaria prevention bednets to more than 100,000 women and children had also been disrupted.
It noted that, ``in the areas of these regions where security assurances are pro vided, UNICEF continues to deliver its humanitarian supplies and programmes''.
``We need concrete assurances from the local authorities for the safe delivery a nd storage of supplies to ensure that we can carry out programmes for the surviv a l of Somali children and women," Rozanne Chorlton, UNICEF representative to Soma l ia, said.
She hoped that, ``these assurances will be forthcoming very soon so that we can continue our operations at a level that matches the needs of children and women a nd prevent the deaths that will otherwise certainly occur''.
The statement disclosed that UNICEF's compound in Jowhar (central Somalia) - the main hub for its programme operations in central south Somalia - was taken over on 17 May.
It said that large volumes of life-saving humanitarian supplies and communicatio ns equipment were destroyed or taken from the compound and from UNICEF warehouse s in Jowhar.
In addition, reports indicated that UNICEF emergency supplies stored in a partne r's warehouse in Jammame (Lower Juba region)were taken in early August.
The UNICEF is the lead agency in the provision of vaccines and essential drugs f or maternal and child health clinics and health posts targeting at 1.
2 million c h ildren under five and 1.
4 million women in central south Somalia.
It further stressed that the lives of these children and women would be at high risk if the UNICEF was not able to operate fully and deliver supplies without di s ruption.

13 august 2009 15:33:00

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