Published On: Thu, Mar 9th, 2017

OIC appeals to save Somalia from famine

Somalia is on the brink of imminent famine as about six million people, almost half of the population, require urgent humanitarian aid, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said in a statement.

The OIC General Secretariat was following with deep concern the famine, the consequences of which have started to appear in Somalia and the Horn of Africa region in general due to serious drought due to shortage of rainfall, the statement said.

This threatens the lives of more than 17 million people in the states of the Horn of Africa with drought affecting Djibouti, Eretria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

The OIC pointed out that more than 110 persons have died in Somalia in the last two days from cholera and famine caused by continuous drought, as announced by Prime Minister Hassan Ali in Mogadishu on March 4.

It said that the cautionary indicators of this famine has become very clear as the OIC Office for Coordination of Humanitarian and Development Action in Somalia estimated the number of displaced persons last February to be about 50,000 from Somali villages to Mogadishu and cities such as Afgooye, Baidoa, Kismayo, Dolow, Luk, Beledweyne, Adado, Abudwak, Jaril and Dhuusamareeb.

“It should be noted that Somalia is one of the four countries categorised as being close to facing serious famine, alongside Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen where over 20 million people face horrific conditions, thus requiring urgent action to avoid the spread of famine to wider areas,” said OIC.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Feb 22 announced that UN relief agencies urgently require US$4.4 billion by the end of March to tackle famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria. Some US$90 million has been received so far.

The UN Secretary General also stated that 1.4 million children are susceptible to imminent death due to famine in the four countries, while 462,000 children face acute malnutrition in Yemen alone due to the civil war that has been raging for two years.

The OIC General Secretariat said that Somalia had suffered a similar fate between 2010 and 2012 leading to the death of 260,000 people.

It also warned about the consequences of slow humanitarian intervention and the need to act immediately.

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