Somalia declares ‘national disaster’ over drought

Somalia declares ‘national disaster’ over drought.
Somalia’s new leader has declared a national disaster for a prolonged drought that has forced about half of the country’s population to seek urgent food assistance and sparked fears of a potential famine.
The announcement on Tuesday by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s office came a day after the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that Somalia was at risk of its third famine in 25 years – the last one in 2011 killed some 260,000 people.
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UN: $4.4bn needed to prevent famine ‘catastrophe’ According to WHO, more than 6.2 million people – half of Somalia’s population – needed urgent humanitarian aid, including almost three million who are going hungry.
IN PICTURES: Drought in Somalia – Time is running out Al Jazeera’s Fahmida Miller, reporting from Dolow in southern Somalia, said she spoke to a number of refugees and internally displaced people.
She said trying to get the assistance was near impossible because of threats from al-Shabab," she said.
"People here are losing livestock; rivers and water points have dried up; and there is a huge issue around internally displaced people and refugees moving through Somalia looking for food and water," Miller added.
"As the rainfall is expected to stay low, there have already been a number of failed crop seasons, and people can’t grow their own food and have to move through the country looking for assistance."
Crisis in the Horn of Africa: Somalia’s Famine – REWIND Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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