BAIDOA, Somalia – Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamed has calls for greater efforts to provide life-saving aid to help those affected by drought in Horn of African nation.
President Mohamed along with South West state leader Abdiaziz Mohamed and other government officials paid a visit to internally displaced people in camps in Baidoa town, some 250km south west of Mogadishu.
Mohamud urged citizens to help those severely affected by drought, especially internally displaced people in camps.
Mr. Mohamud says he was concerned by the ongoing drought condition in which he said had forced thousands of people to abandon their homes in search of food, water and pasture for the their livestock.
On Tuesday, the United Nations’ top humanitarian official for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula, said that an immediate response is required to control a drought that is affecting 7.1 million people, including 370,000 severely malnourished children.
He also warned of heightened risks of famine.
In March, the UN warned that the Horn of Africa was “experiencing the worst drought since 1981”, and a shortfall in aid funding was putting the lives of millions of Somalis in danger. The situation has been worsened by conflict.
The UN and its partners called for more financing to provide urgent humanitarian aid.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Somalia is currently one of the most severely drought-impacted countries in the Horn of Africa. “Some 4.5 million Somalis are directly affected by the drought, and about 700,000 people have been displaced,” it said.
While the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) said the drought in Somalia and the Horn of Africa, mainly blamed on three consecutive seasons of failed rains, is “depriving children and their families of a home, a meal, a classroom, and access to life-saving health services”.
Last month, six children died of hunger while seven others lost their lives as result of an outbreak of an acute diarrhea in Mahaday town in Middle Shabelle region.
Sources: Mareeg Online and News agencies