United Nations chief says seeking further US$900m for Somalia crisis response

Somalis displaced by a drought arrive at makeshift camps on the outskirts of Mogadishu Somalia. Britain is hosting a high-level conference on Thursday
United Nations chief says seeking further US$900m for Somalia crisis response
Author

12 May, 2017

The London conference is co-hosted by the British government, the United Nations and Somalia's UN-backed federal government, led by President Mohamed Farmajo, who took office in February after a Western-backed electoral process.

AMISOM, deployed in 2007, has gradually reclaimed much of the group's urban territory-including the capital Mogadishu, which al-Shabab was rooted out of in 2011-but the militants still control much of the country's rural areas and regularly carry out suicide bombings in Mogadishu.

"We want to see the integration of Somali regional forces and an increase in Somali capacity, as this will be crucial in allowing the resumption of offensives against the remaining al Shabaab strongholds in southern Somalia", May said.

EU Ambassador to Somalia Veronique Lorenzo expressed Europe's solidarity with Somalia, in the wake of the devastating drought that has caused untold suffering and death, Xinhua news agency reported.

No fewer than 680,000 people have been displaced due to drought since November 2016, including 7,000 people who have crossed into neighboring Ethiopia and Kenya.

Save the Children CEO Kevin Watkins said: "Somalia continues to drift towards an avoidable starvation".

WHO urgently appeals for additional support from the global community to ensure the health response can continue and expand, to save lives and alleviate the suffering of millions of Somalis.

The summit at Lancaster House will be addressed by Mrs May, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and International Development Secretary Priti Patel.

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The focus of the meeting will be the agreement of a security pact and the reforms needed to support the country over the next four years.

The UK Government will reaffirm its commitment to preventing a starvation, and call on the worldwide community to urgently step up their support.

Somalia's president Thursday urged world powers to help him fight the "raging enemies" of terror, corruption and poverty, at an worldwide conference aimed at stabilising the crisis-wracked country under his new leadership.

Rashid Abdi, the Horn of Africa Project Director for the International Crisis Group, says the international community needs to support Somalia on the security front and with current humanitarian crisis.

The DEC's East Africa crisis appeal launched in March raised £55 million in its first month, including £10 million of taxpayers' money.

ActionAid's head of humanitarian response Mike Noyes said: "Drought has pushed millions of Somalis to the brink of starvation".

"Despite UK generosity, the United Nations emergency appeal for Somalia remains chronically underfunded".


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