Airships could help the WFP avoid pirates.

19 Apr
080928-N-9999X-004 OFF THE COAST OF SOMALIA (September 25, 2008) – Somali pirates in small boats were able to hijack the MV Faina, a Belize-flagged cargo ship owned and operated by “Kaalbye Shipping Ukraine.” The ship is carrying a cargo of Ukrainian T-72 tanks and related equipment. It had no on board security when it was attacked on Sept. 25 and was forced to proceed to an anchorage off the Somali Coast. Official U.S. Navy Photo (RELEASED)

080928-N-9999X-004 OFF THE COAST OF SOMALIA (September 25, 2008) – Somali pirates in small boats were able to hijack the MV Faina, a Belize-flagged cargo ship owned and operated by “Kaalbye Shipping Ukraine.” The ship is carrying a cargo of Ukrainian T-72 tanks and related equipment. It had no on board security when it was attacked on Sept. 25 and was forced to proceed to an anchorage off the Somali Coast. Official U.S. Navy Photo (RELEASED)

http://www.alertnet.org/db/an_art/55866/2009/03/17-162605-1.htm

Millions of people could go hungry as Somali pirates stage increasingly bold attacks on aid ships off the Horn of Africa, the World Food Programme has warned.

Experts say there is little aid groups can do to reduce the risk in the short term. But they argue that renewed international attention on Somalia could ease the humanitarian crisis there if it addresses the root causes of why so many young men resort to hijacking ships for a living.

The threat to aid shipments has risen as pirates have begun targeting ships further out to sea. On April 8, a gang attacked the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama, which was carrying 400 containers of food for aid agencies including the U.N. World Food Programme, about 500 km (300 miles) off Somalia.

On Tuesday, a Togo-flagged ship heading to Mumbai to pick up WFP food was hijacked some 700 km off Somalia, and a U.S.-owned ship loaded with 27,000 tonnes of food aid was attacked on its way to the Kenyan port of Mombasa by pirates with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons. “If ships are going to be hit as they are heading to Mombasa, we could see in the coming months millions of people going hungry if food assistance is delayed for extended periods,” WFP spokesman Peter Smerdon said. This year, the U.N. food aid agency aims to feed 3.5 million people in Kenya, 3.5 million in Somalia and 970,000 in the Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda, where drought and high food prices have brought widespread hunger. It relies on Mombasa as a key entry point for food supplies for eastern and central Africa. In 2008, more than half a million tonnes of food arrived there on 200 ships.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: