Somalia:President declares ‘national disaster’ amid drought

Queuing for food aid – civil war and economic collapse, drought are being blamed for Famine.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has declared a “national disaster” due to severe drought in the country.

A statement from the presidency issued on Tuesday said the declaration was ‘‘to deal with the humanitarian emergency in all areas affected by the current drought.”

“The president has appealed to the international community to urgently respond to the calamity in order to help families and individuals to recover from the effects of the drought disaster to avoid humanitarian tragedy,” the statement read.

Aid agencies say the drought has left some three million in crisis across Somalia.

Somalia has been at risk of its third famine in 25 years.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday warned against the recurrence of famine that left 260,000 people starved to death across the country in 2011.

The agency has said more than 6.2 million people need urgent humanitarian aid, including almost three million who are going hungry.

According to the WHO, over 363,000 acutely malnourished children and 70,000 severely malnourished children need urgent, life-saving support.

In addition, the drought has led to a spread of acute, watery diarrhea, cholera and measles across various regions of Somalia. Some 5.5 million people are at risk of contracting waterborne diseases.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recently warned that some 1.4 million children suffering from severe malnutrition could die this year from famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

Somalia is one of three countries, along with Yemen and Nigeria, on the verge of famine, which has already been declared in South Sudan. Overall, more than 20 million people face starvation in the four countries.

By Africafrique and agencies

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