UN official says Somali aid effort must improve

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The Independent Online
A SENIOR United Nations official admitted yesterday that efforts to bring food to Somalia's starving millions had been poorly co- ordinated. 'This is a process which will have to be improved upon,' said Muhammad Sahnoun, the UN Secretary-General's special envoy for Somalia.

He was speaking at a news conference in Rome at which the World Food Programme announced it would deliver a further 72,000 tonnes of food, worth dollars 26m ( pounds 13.1m), to feed the nearly 2 million Somalis most in danger of starvation. This is in addition to 68,000 tonnes earmarked for Somalia four months ago, 40,000 tonnes of which have been delivered.

The UN operation in Somalia has been criticised, in particular by an official of Britain's Save the Children Fund, as ill-planned and badly equipped. There was 'a shameful degree of infighting between UN agencies which pursue their own interests', Mike Aaronson, the Fund's overseas director, said last week.