- - Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Food supplements airlifted into famine-hit area

MOGADISHU — A plane carrying 10 tons of urgently needed nutritional supplements to treat malnourished children has landed in famine-hit Somalia, a U.N. official said Wednesday.

The airlift is part of a crisis intervention as famine threatens to spread across lawless Somalia.

David Orr, a World Food Program (WFP) spokesman who flew with the shipment from neighboring Kenya to the Somali capital of Mogadishu, said it is the first airlift of food aid since the U.N. declared a famine in parts of Somalia last week.

Mr. Orr said the aid would be distributed to medical facilities to treat the malnourished children.

WFP spokeswoman Challiss McDonough said this is first of several planned airlifts in coming weeks. She said Wednesday’s shipment of peanut butter-based nutritional paste will treat 3,500 malnourished children for one month.

Ms. McDonough said the WFP decided to send in the airlift because of an urgent need to treat the growing number of internally displaced children suffering from malnutrition before their condition deteriorates.

She said about 18,000 children are suffering from malnutrition and that the number is expected to grow to 25,000.

The WFP says it cannot reach 2.2 million people in need of aid in the militant-controlled areas in southern Somalia because of insecurity.


More than 250 people charged with rioting

BLANTYRE — More than 250 people appeared in courts around Malawi to face charges over violent anti-government demonstrations last week, and a U.S. government aid group said it had frozen its $350 million aid program over the protests that left 19 people dead.

Protesters in the southern African country rioted for several days in three major cities over persistent fuel and foreign exchange reserve shortages and complaints of bad governance.

Witnesses said some protesters attacked businesses belonging to the president’s political allies.

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