21 October 2011

UNICEF is gravely concerned about reports of heightened military activity in southern Somalia, where up to 750,000 people, half of whom are children, suffer from severe acute malnutrition and need immediate life-saving help.

UNICEF is closely monitoring the situation to assess the impact on our humanitarian efforts in the famine-affected regions of southern Somalia, where over three million people are in severe crisis.

Any delay in the delivery of this life-saving assistance is a matter of life and death for innocent women and children.

UNICEF reminds all parties to the conflict that the safety and security of civilians, particularly children and women who are already living through a humanitarian disaster, must be given utmost priority under international humanitarian and human rights law.

See Eddie Izzard's video diary from Kenya 

 
A newly arrived young refugee from Somalia at the Dadaab camps in Kenya, September 2011.  © UNICEF/Siegfried Modola/Kenya 2011
A newly arrived young refugee from Somalia at the Dadaab camps in Kenya, September 2011. © UNICEF/Siegfried Modola/Kenya 2011