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“Don’t forget Somalia”: plea to the UN for a country on the verge of famine

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We are here to lobby, to draw your attention to the magnitude of the crisis, the level of humanitarian catastrophe in Somaliasaid the special envoy of the Somali president during an interview with AFP.

From meeting to meeting with UN agencies and UN member states since the beginning of the week, he has carried the same message: There is always a huge gap between the promised humanitarian aid and the needs of a country that has suffered four seasons of insufficient rains since 2020.

Currently, just over 60% of the $1.4 billion needed to fund the humanitarian plan for Somalia has been pledged. And as a failed fifth rainy season is predicted for the fall, needs will increase further.

International competition

If the rain does not come and the humanitarian response is not enough, starvation will occuralerted Abdirahman Abdishakur.

I know that there is some competition on the international stage in terms of priorities, with Ukraine, the impact of the ongoing COVID-19, the energy crisis, but that does not mean that we should forget the Horn of Africa and Somaliahe insisted.

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Don’t forget Somalia, especially the drought which may turn into faminehe hammered, stressing that the situation was similar to that of 2011, when the famine had killed more than 250,000 people.

People are dying today

The head of the UN humanitarian agency Martin Griffiths indicated in early September that because of this historic drought, the country was on the verge of famine.

We have a very small window to save lives, he repeated this week alongside Abdirahman Abdishakur at the UN headquarters in New York. Even if the famine is not yet declared, people are dying todayhe insisted.

And children are on the front line: according to the latest UNICEF figures released on Tuesday, the number of children aged 6 months to 5 years suffering from severe malnutrition has increased from 386,000 to 513,000.

With famine and drought, we will not only lose lives, but also the gains of recent years in terms of development and poverty reduction, insisted Abdirahman Abdishakur.

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