The humanitarian situation in Somalia remains grave after 20 years of political conflict. The U.N. and international aid agency Oxfam have also warned that drought could compound the current crisis.The United Nations is set to launch a plan outlining its humanitarian and development goals in Somalia over the next five years.The assistance plan seeks to increase the availability of basic social services, create livelihood opportunities and improve the capacity of the Somali government to provide justice and security, the Business Daily reports. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged donors to increase their financial support for humanitarian and development initiatives in Somalia so as not to exacerbate the existing crisis in the country.
Food security and livelihoods have been severely hit in Sri Lanka, specialists say, after heavy rains caused widespread flooding and drove hundreds of thousands from their homes, left 43 people dead, and damaged or destroyed close to 30,000 homes. According to the UN, agricultural production is the main source of livelihood in the affected area and this season’s rice harvest has been badly damaged, leading to increased food insecurity.The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates about 500,000 residents are food-insecure. In the worst affected districts of Ampara, Batticaloa, and Trincomalee in Eastern Province, heavy rains between 8 and 12 January left more than 101,171 hectares of paddy fields damaged, of which more than 81,000ha suffered moderate to severe damage.The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates a loss of about 450,000 tons or US$120 million.
More relief is on the way for the over one million people living in the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, who face the wrath of cyclones year after year.India and World Bank on Friday signed an agreement through which the latter will provide a credit of $255 million for the first phase of the national programme to mitigate the impact of cyclones.The programme, which would ultimately cover all the vulnerable areas along the eastern and western coasts of the country, is slated to begin with Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.
Massive mudslides have killed over 430 people in what is being termed as Brazil's worst disaster in decades. A torrent of thick mud swept away homes, overturned cars and knocked away telephone and power lines.The mudslides were triggered by extremely heavy rains on Wednesday morning in an area north of Rio de Janeiro. It said about 14,000 people had been driven from their homes.
The first-ever visit by a World Bank (WB) president to Bihar brought cheers to the state as the Bank s assistance worth $1 billion, or Rs 4,500 crore especially for the victims of Kosi deluge of August 2008.