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Main aid distributor in Somalia halted until safety agreements can be met

The Al Shabaab presence in the southern and central regions of Somalia is well known and leaves citizens with little ability to work, have access to healthcare or much of anything else. Now, one of the only humanitarian groups that was allowed to help provide food security and other amenities has been cutoff, IRIN reports.

According to the source, the suspension of aid from the The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) began in mid-December and prohibits workers from reaching more than 240,000 people in the Middle Shabelle region. In total, more than 1.1 million citizens are in need of help due to insurgents and prolonged droughts.

ICRC representatives wrote in a statement that aid has been suspended for safety reasons.

"The suspension will continue until we receive assurances from the authorities controlling those areas that distributions can take place unimpeded and reach all those in need, as previously agreed," Patrick Vial, the head of the ICRC delegation for Somalia, said in the statement.

Although Al Shabaab isn't directly mentioned as the cause for the issues, many assume the forces are behind the concerns.

Until requests are met, little can be done to provide those in need with proper care.
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