The Swiss-run International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it regrets that it is not permitted to deliver emergency food aid in certain parts of Somalia.
It previously had an agreement with the Office for Supervising the Affairs of Foreign Agencies of the Harakat al Shabaab al Mujahideen, the militant Islamic group controlling parts of southern Somalia, but this has been terminated, the ICRC announced on Thursday.
“Under the agreement, we provided more than 1.2 million people living in central and southern Somalia with one-month food rations between June and December 2011,” said Daniel Duvillard, the ICRC's head of operations for East Africa, in a statement. “The food distributions helped address severe malnutrition among the population.”
As part of this emergency mission, the ICRC distributed more than 17,000 tons of rice, beans and oil in more than 1,600 places. Yet it had to cease operations in mid-January after al Shabaab militants blocked deliveries.
The ICRC is still unable to retrieve a seized food consignment in Jowhar. It was intended for distribution to 240,000 people in the Middle Shabelle and Galgaduud regions.
According to the statement, the ICRC “remains fully committed to helping Somalis overcome recurrent humanitarian crises, improve their livelihoods and enhance their access to health care”.
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