UN: Guterres appeals for global support to avert famine in Somalia

New York, US (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday in Mogadishu, Somalia, urged international support to avert a famine in the drought-hit Horn of Africa country and curb the spread of cholera, as well as facilitate economic development.

"It is exactly because it is tragic and because it is hopeful that it makes sense to make a very strong appeal to the international community to support Somalia at the present moment," Guterres told reporters.

With almost half of the Somali population in need of assistance, including 330,000 children who are acutely malnourished, the UN chief reiterated an appeal for US$825 million for the support of 5.5 million people for six months.

"There is a chance in Somalia to avoid a situation like the one we had in 2011," he said, referring to the previous famine that killed many people in that country.

He also said that 3.3 million people are in need of health support and that cholera has been developing and making hunger even worse and more dangerous. In the last two months, there were 7,731 cases of cholera with 183 deaths.

Guterres warned that "just last week, there were 1,352 cases of cholera and 38 people dying, and it is a process in acceleration."

"But now is also a moment of hope because Somalia is turning the page, with a new President elected and a new Prime Minister appointed. There is a very strong commitment to enhance security and at the same time to enhance the capacity of the government to start to provide effective services to the population," the UN chief noted.

"The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which is doing a job that the world should be grateful for because it is not only protecting Somalis, but protecting all against terrorism, has not been effectively helped by the international community,"
he added.
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07 march 2017 15:00:50

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