Days after Somali’s new president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo declared a national disaster due to severe drought in the country, the leader has appealed for urgent food aid.
According to reports, drought in the country is affecting more than six million people, half of Somalia’s population, are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
Farmaajo has thus appealed to the international community to help raise 825 million US dollars to prevent the crisis from deteriorating into famine.
Those of us gathered here today can neither make the rain come nor provide adequate water
“Those of us gathered here today can neither make the rain come nor provide adequate water to keep livestock alive. But we can respond more effectively, and we must do so now simply because the Somali nation is threatened with famine,” said Farmaajo.
Famine last struck the horn of Africa nation in 2011, killing more than 200,000 people.
“The implications of this declaration would include enforcing tax exemption on the import of critical humanitarian supplies that still attract any form of taxes, temporary lifting of taxes and levies on NGOs to enable them to scale up the delivery of humanitarian assistance, strengthening security at critical areas of humanitarian delivery including the removal of illegal roadblocks, and firm measures to prevent and penalize diversion of humanitarian assistance,” said Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Somalia Peter De Clercq.
Earlier in the week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that Somalia was at risk of its third famine in 25 years.