UN seeks $530 million for Somalia ‘catastrophe’

NAIROBI, Kenya -- The United Nations said Wednesday it is seeking $530 million for aid projects in Somalia next year, and it called the country's 20 years of strife a catastrophe that is "as urgent as ever."
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UN seeks $530 million for Somalia ‘catastrophe’

The U.N. said the request is down 23 percent compared with the 2010 request. That drop is a result of a reassessment of food aid needs. But the U.N. said that despite fragile improvement in 2010 because of two good rainy seasons, Somalia still has 2 million people in crisis, including nearly 1.5 million displaced people.

Floods, drought and armed conflict disrupt access to health care, food, clean water and education, the world body said in a statement released Wednesday.

"The priority in 2011 is to ensure that humanitarian assistance gets to those who need it, wherever they are," said Mark Bowden, the top U.N. humanitarian representative for Somalia. "Even with all the challenges of access and security in Somalia, we know it can be done because we managed in 2010."

Somalia hasn

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