British, UN leaders to address Somalia humanitarian crisis

Posted May 14, 2017

Topics to be discussed at the conference - which is co-chaired by Somalia's President Farmajo, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May - include the need to invest in Somalia's military and in governance and state-building after a relatively smooth democratic presidential election earlier this year.

Addressing an worldwide conference on Somalia in London, the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for more support for drought-stricken Somalia.

Before he left for London on Tuesday, the President had said Amisom could not be expected to exit Somalia before guaranteeing the region's security.

The Somali president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, said heavy weaponry would allow his government to crush the insurgency and drive the group from the country.

Some 439,000 people are at risk of starvation and more than 6 million people, or half the country's population, are "severely food insecure", Guterres said.

The UN has sought further 900 million dollars this year to meet humanitarian crisis in Somalia.

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According to him, there was the need to better equip the Somali National Army, the AMISOM mission and other friendly nations engaged in the fight against the Al-Shabaab insurgents.

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday appealed for additional funding from the global community to save lives and ease the suffering of millions of Somalis.

According to a United States defence official, the Pentagon now has several hundred troops stationed in Somalia, primarily devoted to counter-terror training.

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.

For the last decade, the Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow the Somali government.

He said that "we fear the worst" to be ahead.

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The African Union (ANISOM) troops have clawed back most of Somalia's main towns and cities from al Shabaab since they helped drive the Al Qaeda-linked insurgents out of the capital Mogadishu in 2010.

The structure says Somalia will have at least 18,000 national army, 4,000 Special Forces, 32,000 police forces and additional regional forces.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama is in Milan to deliver a keynote speech on food security and the environment, two issues that he has long worked on.

"More funding is urgently needed to address the crisis and we hope that the conference will result in increased humanitarian finance".

"We must save lives before it is too late", he told an worldwide conference in London yesterday.

The agency added that in view of the continuing dramatic situation, the organization and its partners are trying to identify the children at risk in time and to provide them with therapeutic special nutrition and to treat them.

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