Wednesday, August 08, 2007

SOMALIA: Call for agencies to scale up aid operations in capital

UN official makes the call for aid agencies to step up their activities in Somalia, taking advantage of military escorts and protected compounds in Somalia:

'A senior UN official has urged humanitarian agencies to take advantage of security provided by African Union troops in Mogadishu to improve the delivery of aid to tens of thousands of displaced people camped in surrounding areas.

"Response [to the crisis] has not been adequate because of difficulties of access and too many security incidents," Eric Laroche, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, said on 2 August, a day after a visit to Mogadishu.

Aid agencies should be mobilised to scale up their operations in the Somali capital, he said, adding that this would help get relief supplies both to the city and the surrounding areas.

He said the availability of African Union security escorts facilitated his visit to Mogadishu and the Afgoye.

"We are starting to have access and we need to use it," Laroche said. "If we can operate from Mogadishu, we can reach more people."'