09/12/06 (B373) BBC : Aid drops target Somali refugees (Info lectrice)

drops are under way to deliver relief supplies to more than 100,000 Somali
refugees in three camps cut off by flooding in north-eastern Kenya.

A US Air
Force Hercules transport plane has delivered tonnes of plastic sheeting, mosquito
nets and blankets.

The UN
refugee agency says the rains have ceased for the time being, but if they
start again, even air drops will become difficult.

million people have been displaced by floods.

With escalating
fighting in Somalia, the UN is worried about a possible influx of refugees
into Kenya at a time when the camps are struggling to cope.

It says
the three camps at Dadaab, close to the Somali border, have been badly affected
by the heavy rains of recent weeks.

in the area are impassable and the air drops are being used as a last resort
to reach refugees left without shelter.


the International Red Cross says hundreds of thousands more people are on
the move in southern Somalia, trying to escape severe flooding there.

The Red
Cross, one of the few international aid agencies still operating inside Somalia,
says the floods, coming so quickly after a long drought, have combined with
years of conflict to make this one of the worst humanitarian crises in the

Yves Degiacomi,
a Red Cross water engineer, described the humanitarian situation in Somalia
as "horrendous".

He said:
"When you fly over the region, all you can see is water and the tips
of some roofs.

addition to the lack of food and shelter, the terrible smell of rotting debris
makes it even more difficult to cope with the floods."

have already killed more than 250 people in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

from BBC NEWS: