Top UN humanitarian coordinator visits Somalia’s Kismayo


The UN Humanitarian Coordination office for Somalia says many people are without adequate access to food, clean water and health care in the Somali port town of Kismayo. Philippe Lazzarini has also warned of the consequences of a power struggle there. The U-N says rivalries between clan militias allied to two powerful warlords have so far claimed the lives of 70 people and left hundreds more injured

The top UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia visited the port town of Kismayo with representatives from UN agencies. This, in order to get first-hand information of the humanitarian situation there after last month’s outbreaks of violence that claimed many lives and led to massive displacement of people.

While visiting the city, Lazzarini has vowed to continue U-N’s support to the victims of the violence there

The victims of the recent clashes are receiving treatment at the Kismayo General hospital that is already struggling to cope despite serious shortage of medical supplies. Mohamed Jama is one of the victims. He is nursing gunshot wounds at the hospital.

A rapid food security and nutrition assessment carried out in Kismayo in March showed that half of the families were food insecure and nearly 24 percent of children in Kismayo under the age of five were malnourished. Nearly half of the children also have no access to education.

The United Nations recently launched a three-year humanitarian appeal for Somalia.

According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) the appeal for 2013 is $1.3 billion for 369 humanitarian projects targeting 3.8 million Somalis in need.