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The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and United Nations World Food Programme
By Henry Neondo
(WFP) are to jointly launch humanitarian programme to assist displaced people in the Afgooye corridor southwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu.
A memorandum of understanding between the two organizations was signed on Monday in Nairobi by Ambassador Atta Elmanan Bakhit, the OIC’s Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, and WFP Somalia Acting Country Director Salman Omer.
They both expressed hopes that the partnership between OIC and WFP would be successful and would allow both organizations to extend their operations in other areas.
The agreement said that the OIC would find partner non-governmental organizations to distribute food assistance to those in need. An independent monitoring body would check that the assistance reaches those it was intended for.
The agreement said that WFP and the OIC will jointly raise funds for their work in Somalia for the six-month duration of the memorandum of understanding.
UN High Commission for Refugees revealed recently that some 400,000 people – of the 1.5 million displaced people have fled to the so-called Afgooye corridor, stretching west from the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
This is the highest concentration of internally displaced people in the world. Most- forced to flee their homes in Mogadishu because of fighting – live in a series of camps along the road leading from the capital to the town of Afgooye.
"In Somalia, we face a chronic catastrophic humanitarian situation complicated by a protracted acute emergency," António Guterres UN High Commissioner for Refugees said. "The suffering endured by the Somali people is appalling and unique in the world," he added.