"According to the UN, poor rains, high food prices and ongoing conflict have pushed Somalia once gain to the brink of crisis. "
Nairobi, July 8 - The top UN relief official for Somalia Tuesday appealed to the international community to provide urgent funding to help aid agencies which provide emergency food assistance to Somalis.

Philippe Lazzarini, UN resident humanitarian coordinator in Somalia, warned in a statement issued in Nairobi that the Horn of Africa nation risked drifting into a humanitarian crisis due to a fragile food situation, a spike in diseases and insecurity, Xinhua reported.

Funding is urgently needed today so that aid agencies can provide food, livelihood resources, health assistance and nutritional support to people in the worst-affected areas, Lazzarini said.

According to the UN official, despite the dire humanitarian situation that is unfolding, the Consolidated Appeal for Somalia is woefully underfunded at 25 percent.

He said a gap of about $700 million is still required to be filled to provide humanitarian assistance until the end of 2014, to 2.9 million people who are struggling to feed themselves.

I am especially concerned about 350,000 displaced people living in deplorable conditions in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, where acute malnutrition rates and mortality levels have already surpassed emergency thresholds, and where the situation is set to worsen, he said.

The latest assessments from the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) warn that the food crisis in Somalia will deteriorate in the coming months, with drought conditions already observed in parts of the country due to a poor rainy season.

According to the UN, poor rains, high food prices and ongoing conflict have pushed Somalia once gain to the brink of crisis.

The world body warned that, without immediate action, the fragile food security situation could worsen in the coming months, especially if funding shortages force essential projects to shut down.


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