Somalia: UN Secretary General Guterres arrives in Somalia

Mogadishu, Somalia (PANA) - UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrived in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, on Tuesday and immediately held a meeting with the new Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed, according to the local media.

The current situation in the country, including the consequences of the drought in several parts of Somalia, and ways in which it can be dealt with by providing humanitarian aid to the victims, are at the centre of discussions between Mr Guterres and the President of Somalia.

Guterres is also expected to hold talks with ministers of the federal government.

Meanwhile, according to an assessment by United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners, as a severe drought deepens in Somalia, the risk of famine is looming in the long-troubled country, with about half the population in need of some form of assistance.

The combination of conflict, drought, climate change and diseases is a huge problem from the country's leaders.

The situation has become “significantly worse in the last six months,” explained Joseph Contreras, the spokesperson for the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), according to a UN statement on Monday.

“Currently, approximately 6.2 million Somalis are in need of humanitarian assistance, of that number, three million are in need or urgent life saving measures. This is a significant step up from the 1.1 million Somalis that were in such circumstances, such need for life saving measures in September,” he said.

In addition, the UN reports that nearly 950,000 children under the age of five will be acutely malnourished this year, with 185,000 of that number at risk of death without immediate medical treatment.

Citing ‘worrying similarities’ to the 2011 famine in Somalia, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) last Friday launched a $24.6 million appeal the more than one million Somalis most affected by the drought.

“We named this (2017) drought ‘Odi Kawayn,’ which is Somali for ‘something bigger than the elders,’” drought victim Halima told the agency, explaining that none of the elders has ever seen a drought as severe as this one.
expected to focus on efforts to prevent famine and improve security.
-0- PANA MA 7March2017

07 march 2017 11:56:57

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