Drought-hit Somalia moves closer to famine, says aid group

1 / 2
Newly displaced Somali women weigh their malnourished children as they try to receive medical treatment on the outskirts of Mogadishu earlier this month. (AFP)
2 / 2
Newly displaced Somali women weigh their malnourished children as they try to receive medical treatment on the outskirts of Mogadishu on April 11, 2017. (AFP / MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB)
Updated 21 April 2017
0

Drought-hit Somalia moves closer to famine, says aid group

MOGADISHU, Somalia: Life-threatening child malnutrition rates are rising to alarming levels in drought-hit Somalia, the international aid group Save the Children said Thursday.

A new survey found “very critical” levels of severe malnutrition in two of six districts assessed in some of the worst affected parts of Somalia.
“We are on the brink of a massive catastrophe in Somalia with the death of three quarters of the country’s livestock, a rapid increase of children suffering severe malnutrition and the depletion of water stores in dozens of communities,” said Hassan Saadi Noor, Save the Children’s Somalia country director, who said he fears seeing “children dying in significant numbers.”
Less than 10 percent of children in Somalia are currently registered in a nutrition program according to the study, which warns that children could start dying “in the near future” unless immediate action is taken such as a major and rapid scaling up of feeding schemes.
“Donors have stepped up in recent months, however such is the scale of this crisis that even more funding is needed to address malnutrition directly, including improving access to food and water,” said Noor. “Children must be treated for malnutrition now ... Famine is a distinct possibility for Somalia. It is an absolute travesty that this is even conceivable when just six years ago this same region was hit by a famine that killed over 250,000 people.”
The drought has left 6.2 million people — more than half of the population of Somalia — in need of immediate lifesaving assistance and a further 8.3 million in Kenya and Ethiopia are also need of urgent help, he said.


NATO will show unity despite differences: Stoltenberg

Updated 20 June 2018
0

NATO will show unity despite differences: Stoltenberg

  • Stoltenberg said NATO hopes to start accession talks with Macedonia at the summit, which will be held in Brussels on July 11 and 12
  • The US leader has also complained that the transatlantic defense alliance is more useful for Europe than it is for the United States

BRUSSELS: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg voiced confidence Tuesday that Alliance members will demonstrate unity at a summit next month despite “important differences” between the United States and European members of the transatlantic Alliance. US President Donald Trump has called on fellow members to shoulder a bigger share of the NATO budget. The US leader has also complained that the transatlantic defense alliance is more useful for Europe than it is for the United States. However Stoltenberg remained decidedly upbeat on Tuesday, while acknowledging the differences. “I’m absolutely confident that the NATO summit will demonstrate the transatlantic unity, that Europe and the United States stand together despite important differences on important issues like trade, the Paris (climate) agreement or the Iran nuclear deal,” the NATO leader told the France 24 television channel. “I met president Donald Trump recently in the White House and he reconfirmed his strong personal commitment to NATO and he also recognized that European allies are investing more in defense.” Trump caused dismay in Europe during his presidential campaign when he said that NATO was “obsolete” and failing to meet the challenge posed by Daesh terror groups. “He has a strong message about the need to do more (on defense spending) and I agree with him and the European allies also agree with him,” said Stoltenberg. Stoltenberg also said NATO hopes to start accession talks with Macedonia at the summit, which will be held in Brussels on July 11 and 12, after the small Balkan nation reached a deal with Greece to be renamed the Republic of North Macedonia.