Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed London conference aims for stable Somalia under new chief

by Noah Mcgee May 12, 2017, 0:13
Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed London conference aims for stable Somalia under new chief

The troubled east African country, which has frequently topped the Fragile State Index, is under a new president, prime minister and parliament this year and the conference is focused on underpinning stability in this electoral cycle.

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

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and United Nations Secretary General António Manuel chair the London Conference on Somalia at Lancaster House in London, 11 May, 2017.

LONDON (AP) - British Prime Minster Theresa May and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Thursday for more support for drought-stricken Somalia, with the U.N. chief requesting another $900 million in aid this year.

DEC boss Saleh Saeed said: "We hope that this conference will result in much-needed progress for Somalia helping build resilience - at national, local and individual level - so that the country can withstand future humanitarian emergencies".

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. Aid agencies have expressed concern that the military moves could endanger the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the drought.

The group attacks government, military and civilian targets in the capital and elsewhere, often deploying suicide bombers, and has over-run several military outposts, massacring soldiers from the 22,000-member African Union Mission in Somalia, known as AMISOM.

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According to World Health Organization, drought in Somalia has led to the destruction of crops and livestock and left more than 3.3 million people hungry every day.

He added: "Restoring Somalia's relations with the World Bank, cancelling the country's debt, and providing immediate financial support from the World Bank's global development association facility is critical".

Somali President Farmajo said he believed al-Shabab could be defeated in "the next few years" but called for a lifting of the U.N. Security Council arms embargo on Somalia.

"If the current situation continues, starvation could soon be a reality, creating a devastating cycle of hunger and disease as the health of people deteriorates and they become more susceptible to infection", WHO warned.

Drought has also led to lack of clean water and the largest outbreak of cholera Somalia has seen in the last 5 years, with more than 36 000 cases and nearly 690 deaths so far in 2017 alone.

Charities urged the political leaders to boost funding and take urgent action to avoid a starvation.


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