UN releases 22 million dollars to fight famine threat in Somalia

In South Sudan, 100,000 people are already in famine conditions. In total the disaster threatens the lives of 20 million people.

Published: 22nd March 2017 12:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd March 2017 12:49 AM   |  A+A-

Somalia Children-AP

Somali children. | AP

By AFP

ROME:  The United Nations has approved an emergency loan of $22 million (20.3 million euros) in a bid to prevent another famine in drought and crisis-hit Somalia, its food agency said Tuesday.

The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is releasing the funds to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the hope it will help stave off catastrophe in the civil-war wracked country, just five years after the last famine.

Somalia declared a national disaster last month as the number of people going hungry hit three million, with 6.2 million people in total expected to face acute food insecurity over the next three months.

The Rome-based FAO said the funds would go to helping rural communities that have been hit particularly hard, as crops fail, cattle die and wells dry up.

The head of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Stephen O'Brien, said the loan was "part of the efforts to avert a humanitarian catastrophe".

"The loan will bridge a crucial gap and allow FAO to immediately save lives and the livelihoods of farmers and herders until additional funds from donors are received," he said, amid pessimism from meteorologists about the prospect of rain any time soon.

Somalia is among three nations on the verge of famine, along with Yemen and Nigeria. 

In South Sudan, 100,000 people are already in famine conditions. In total the disaster threatens the lives of 20 million people.

It is the third famine in the 25 years that Somalia has been embroiled in civil war and anarchy, including one in 2011 which left 260,000 people dead.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp