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Somalia facing challenging year, ICRC says

Friday, August 31, 2012

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MOGADISHU, Somalia, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- A combination of conflict and food insecurity meant 2012 has been a difficult year for the majority of the Somali population, the Red Cross said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it delivered food assistance to 1.4 million people in Somalia during the first half of 2012.

The organization said the crisis wasn't as severe as last year but low rainfall in the region contributed to a lingering food emergency.

"Sadly, 2012 has thus far been another challenging period for a great many Somalis, who continue to endure the tremendous hardships that have arisen from a combination of conflict and extreme weather conditions," Patrick Vial, the head of the ICRC Somalia delegation, said in a statement.

Somali leaders last week inaugurated a Parliament to end its formal transition period.

There hasn't been a formal central government in Somalia since 1991, though this week leaders there elected Mohammed Osman Jawari as the speaker of legislative assembly.

The administration is struggling to expand its influence beyond Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab, an ally of al-Qaida, controls parts of the country.


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