Drought stricken Somalia nears famine

When Warfa, was asked about the arrest of two aid workers by al Shabaab, one with UNICEF, Warfa did not confirm or deny it. Instead he emphasized the desperate need of Somalians for assistance.
Although some feared a new Kenyan camp would result in more Somalis fleeing to Kenya, Kenya has announced in will open a new refuge camp near the Somalian border within ten days which will hold 80,000. Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said, “Although we consider our own security, we can’t turn away the refugees.”

“We are no longer talking about a humanitarian crisis or a humanitarian emergency. We are seeing this as a humanitarian catastrophe.”—Jens Oppermann, the country director of Action Against Hunger.

In a nearby refugee camp in Kenya where 370,000 people are squeezed into a space set up for 90,000 people, conditions are desperate aid workers said. Somalia’s Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali in an interview with the BBC said a refugee camp has opened in Mogadishu, but that the government had “meagre” resources to help drought victims. “We are appealing to the international community to take the matter seriously and to act quickly to save as many lives as we can,” he told the BBC.

On Thursday, UNICEF said Somalia’s drought and refugee crisis is “the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world.”
On Friday, Jens Oppermann, the country director of Action Against Hunger (Action Contre La Faim, ACF), told AFP: “We are no longer talking about a humanitarian crisis or a humanitarian emergency. We are seeing this as a humanitarian catastrophe.”

This is the second consecutive year the summer rains have not come, and according to the BBC, the current drought threatens the lives of at least four million in Somalia.

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