UN chief says seeking further $900 million for Somalia crisis response

London conference aims for stable Somalia under new chief
London conference aims for stable Somalia under new chief

12 May, 2017

In response to the early alarm that Somalia is at risk of starvation, donors have generously provided $672 million since the beginning of the year, leaving a gap of $875 million.

Guterres made the announcement in Britain at an worldwide summit on the East African country.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and United Nations Secretary General António Manuel chair the London Conference on Somalia at Lancaster House in London, 11 May, 2017.

The United Nations has said it requires a further $900 million (£700 million) in aid this year for the drought in Somalia.

Somalia is facing prolonged drought which has left 6.7 million people - more than half the population of the country - in need of humanitarian assistance.

Somalia descended into chaos in the early 1990s after civil war broke out and since then has been plagued by drought and insurgency. Aid agencies have expressed concern that the military moves could endanger the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the drought.

Britain is hosting a high-level conference to address the deepening humanitarian crisis and security situation in Somalia.

The conference is also looking to ensure Somalia can take greater responsibility for its own security from the 22,000-strong African Union troop deployment.

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He added: "Restoring Somalia's relations with the World Bank, cancelling the country's debt, and providing immediate financial support from the World Bank's worldwide development association facility is critical".

"The conference will put on the table for the first time the idea of a transition plan from AMISOM to the Somali national security forces", Kay said.

Somalia also confronts the worst outbreak of cholera in five years, with nearly 690 deaths so far this year and cases expected to reach 50,000 by the end of June, the World Health Organization said in a statement Thursday.

The call for unified action was echoed by humanitarian NGO Save the Children's CEO Kevin Watkins.

AMISOM, deployed in 2007, has gradually reclaimed much of the group's urban territory-including the capital Mogadishu, which al-Shabab was rooted out of in 2011-but the militants still control much of the country's rural areas and regularly carry out suicide bombings in Mogadishu.

FILE - In this photo taken February 25, 2017, displaced Somali girls who fled the drought in southern Somalia stand in a queue to receive food handouts at a feeding center in a camp in Mogadishu, Somalia.

World Health Organization commends the Government of the United Kingdom for its leadership in hosting an global conference today to tackle the country's most urgent challenges, and calls on the worldwide community to take decisive action to help avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.

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