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ICRC appeals for 87 mln dollars to help hungry Somalis

(Xinhua)

14:12, August 05, 2011

The International Committee of the Red Cross on Thursday appealed for 87 million U.S. dollars to help additional 1.1 million people in famine-affected parts of Somalia.

The ICRC said in a statement issued in Nairobi that it's scaling up its emergency operation in central and southern Somalia to assist a further drought-and conflict-affected people. "The organization is asking donors for 67 million Swiss francs (87 million dollars) in additional funding, bringing its total 2011 budget for Somalia to over 120 million francs (more than 155 million dollars)," the statement said. The situation is the result of 20 years of armed conflict compounded by severe drought.

The effects of previous dry spells, high inflation and the worldwide rise in food and fuel prices have further aggravated the long-standing crisis since the beginning of the year.

"In the central and southern parts of the country especially, where only a small number of humanitarian organizations are present on the ground, the need for aid cannot be overstated," said Kellenberger, the president of the ICRC. The ICRC said it's working in active in all provinces of central and southern Somalia and able to carry outlarge-scale distributions.

The budget extension will enable the ICRC to further expand its therapeutic feeding programmes and its food distributions to help people get by during the extremely difficult period until the next harvest in December.

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