Car bomb targets a military base in central Somalia
The high-level drought response meeting is coming at a time when there is a severe drought in many parts of the country, as well as an ongoing war against the Al-Shabaab which lost key ground to SNA and local residents.
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia Salah Ahmed Jama opened a meeting at the Afisiyoni tent in Mogadishu which brought together foreign diplomats and aid agencies.
The one-day high-level conference discussed how to respond to the severe drought in Somalia which has affected over 7.8 million people who are now on the brink of dying of starvation.
The United Nations Representative in Somalia James Swan and all donor countries based in Halane Camp, heads of International aid agencies, and Somali officials attended the meeting.
Deputy Prime Minister Salah Ahmed Jama briefed the participants about the drought situation in the country and the emergency measures that needed to be taken to save the lives of the people.
Jama said the national army and local residents are clearing all villages between the government-controlled towns Hiran and Galgadud to reopen the streets the group has blockaded.
The participants proposed the immediate implementation of a number of specific measures to mitigate the effects of the drought. These include the removal of all obstacles to the delivery of assistance, including Al-Shabaab's presence on the roads.
Also, the critical role of national and international non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies in providing life-saving assistance and livelihood support to populations at risk was emphasized.
Jama asked the international community to swiftly provide urgent food aid to mitigate the drought crisis before it turns into a famine which the UN said will hit two towns in the Bay regions.
The UN envoy James Swan said that the current forecast shows that the drought will continue in the coming months the 5th rainy season seems to be failing which exacerbates the situation.
The meeting is coming at a time when there is a severe drought in many parts of the country, as well as an ongoing war against the Al-Shabaab which lost key ground to SNA and local residents.
The UN has also warned of growing instability in the country, with its periodic reports on Somalia this year detailing attacks by Al-Shabaab and pro-Daesh groups.