Six million in Somalia starving to death

Over six million people in Somalia are likely to starve to death this year. That is nearly half of Somalia’s population in urgent need of humanitarian help.

In addition, about 275,000 malnourished children are at risk of starvation, according to aid and development agencies, says Bishop Giorgio Bertin of Djibouti.

He says Caritas Somalia is responding alongside other agencies. A drought in the country, combined with the al-Shabab extremist group are likely to force the country into famine.

Bertin is urging the international community to focus on alleviating the drought.

His comments were made after the one-day London Somalia Conference on May 11.  The conference brought heads of states from East Africa and key partners together.

They focused on accelerating progress on security sector reforms and building new international partnerships to maintain the country’s course of recovery.

“We are distributing emergency food in six villages in Somaliland. We are also working on a project to take water to a rehabilitation center for handicapped children in a very poor settlement near the city of Hargeisa,” Bertin said.

Money transfer businesses, which funnel an estimated $2 billion a year to Somalia, are struggling to access banks in the United Kingdom and the United States due to severe restrictions placed on them because of terrorism threats.

There are serious fears that the transfer agencies may be used to fund the al-Shabab extremist group.


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