U.N. agencies are preparing a $40 million program to assist 70,000 Somalis displaced from their homes by war, officials said Friday.

U.N. agencies have been asked to submit a report on the program to the office of Undersecretary-General Abdulrahim Farah by April 24, said agency officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.Somalia has a population of 5.3 million and is one of the poorest nations in the world.

The government of President Mohammed Siad Barre has been battling a rebellion by the Somali National Movement for seven years in the north of the country.

In addition, a war broke out between Ethiopia and Somalia in 1977 for control of the Ogaden region. About 70,000 Somalis are displaced in their own nation.