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UNHCR launches emergency aid drive across southern, central Somalia

Press Release  19 July 2011

In light of the deepening crisis in Somalia, UNHCR is stepping up assistance inside the country with a series of aid distributions across central and southern parts of the country. Although access remains a serious impediment, working with partners on the ground in Somalia we have so far distributed assistance packages to some 90,000 people in Mogadishu and Belet Hawa and Dobley in south-west Somalia. Further non-food aid for an estimated 126,000 people is being handed out from today in other parts of the Gedo and Lower Juba regions, with assistance also on its way to Mogadishu and the Afgooye corridor, as well as further south west in Lower Shabelle.

UNHCR is additionally strengthening its mechanisms for tracking population movement and protection monitoring in the corridors leading to the Dolo Ado and Dadaab refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya respectively. Our aim is that through shorter interval reporting we’ll be better able to inform emergency interventions. UNHCR is the primary provider of this information to UN agencies and NGOs operating in Somalia.

Given the very serious health state of many refugees arriving at camps in neighbouring countries, UNHCR believes it is of life-saving importance that people in Somalia are able to get help where they are. This may, in certain circumstances, mitigate the necessity to cross borders into neighbouring countries, where refugee camps are already bursting at the seams. We continue to look at all means to step up our efforts further inside the country.

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