Somalia threatened by new food crisis
A deadly combination of conflict, poor rainfall and a predicted late harvest threatens to push hundreds of thousands of Somalis back into hunger, undermining aid efforts put in place during last year's drought, Save the Children warned on Thursday.
The humanitarian agency said many of the 1.4 million Somalis displaced by conflict and drought will bear the brunt of the new crisis since they rely on good harvests to keep food prices low.
"(Last year's) crisis has left a huge amount of Somali families unable to cope with the effects of drought one year on," said Sonia Zambakides, humanitarian director for Save the Children's Somalia programme.
The charity has asked for more funding and fresh efforts by the international community to tackle the underlying causes of Somalia's regular food crises.
Meanwhile a Somali youth Amal Mohamed Bashiir has risked her life to run. Bashiir aged 18 years old hopes that determination will pay off with a place at the London Olympics.
"When Al -Shabaab were in Mogadishu, I received many threats, phone calls from people saying they would kill me. I used to train inside a basketball hall and I used a different name," she said, wearing a long black veil with a lace band around her forehead. "But now I feel so happy because the security situation is changing. Things are easier," the 18-year-old added, speaking through an interpreter.
The Al -Shabaab fighters, who impose a harsh form of sharia in areas they control, pulled out of Somalia's capital last August, after months of fighting African Union troops building by building. But the group still carries out suicide bombings and assassinations in the city, and there is also danger from freelance militias and guns for hire.