UN chief: drought-stricken Somalia ‘hangs in the balance’
UN chief: drought-stricken Somalia ‘hangs in the balance’.
LONDON — British Prime Minster Theresa May and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Thursday for more support for drought-stricken Somalia, with the U.N. chief requesting another $900 million in aid this year.
They spoke at a high-level conference to address the Horn of Africa nation’s deepening humanitarian and security crisis.
"Here in London we can tip the scales from danger to safety."
Guterres said some 439,000 people are at risk of famine and more than 6 million are "severely food insecure."
Somalia is also facing new military interest from the United States, as President Donald Trump has approved expanded operations, including airstrikes, against the extremist group al-Shabab.
Aid agencies have expressed concern that the military moves could endanger the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the drought.
Pressure is growing on Somalia’s military to assume full responsibility for the country’s security as the 22,000-strong African Union multinational force, AMISOM, that has been supporting the fragile central government plans to leave by the end of 2020.
The U.S. military has acknowledged the problem.
Save the Children chief Keven Watkins said the African country "continues to drift toward an avoidable famine."