11 October 2017

Somalia: AU Donates Food Items to Drought-Hit Somalia

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said on Wednesday that it had donated an assortment of food items worth 100,000 U.S. dollars to the Somali government to aid victims affected by drought.

A statement from the AU mission handed over 67 metric tonnes comprising rice, sugar, beans and vegetable oil to the government officials.

Francisco Madeira, Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia, who represented AU Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said the situation in Somalia still remains fragile due to poor rainfall and frequent disease outbreak.

"Whereas this condition (drought) has had some slight differences, the humanitarian plight in Somalia still requires continued and stepped-up support," Madeira said.

"During the Commission Chairperson's announcement of donation 100,000 dollars by the AU to assist the victims of the drought, he expressed his wish that others should emulate the gesture and this is a demonstration of the seriousness with which the AU views the humanitarian challenge in Somalia," he added.

During his visit to Somalia in March, Mahamat pledged humanitarian aid to drought victims, after an international appeal for emergency assistance by Somalia government.

The appeal saw an unprecedented response by the Somali people and the international community, raising a total of 1.1 billion dollars, which helped avert famine.

Madeira reiterated the commitment of AMISOM to continue supporting the Somali government and the humanitarian agencies to access and support populations in need of assistance.

He urged AMISOM's relevant ministries and local community leaders to ensure that food supplies are distributed and reach the people in need of assistance. Some 6.2 million people across Somalia face acute food insecurity, according to UN.

Mohamed Moalim, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, said the international community has done a tremendous job of providing much needed emergency supplies to the people of Somalia.

"Somali people together with our partners this time round have been more prepared and coordinated well. Somalis in every part of the world were very much involved in raising funds to help their brothers and sisters.

Therefore, we managed to avert what could have been a catastrophic famine and loss of life," Moalim stated.

He added that the government is working on mechanisms to reduce the impact of the recurrent drought by finding long-term solutions to enable Somalia to be more productive.

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