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Somalia Asks for Immediate Drought Aid

Drought continues to takes its toll in East Africa, causing food and water shortages throughout the region. The Somali Transitional Federal Government has called for immediate assistance for communities affected by the drought. It says thousands of people in parts of southern Somalia may starve unless help arrives.

English to Africa reporter Kim Lewis spoke with Asah Ahmed Abdullah, a member of Somalia’s parliament, who explained why the government is making an international appeal:

“There’s a lot of rain shortage and water shortage and they (the people of southern Somalia), don’t have any food. People on the farms and countryside are really suffering from a water shortage. So a lot of livestock lost their life. Thirty to seventy people died from starvation, so we’re talking about from Kenya’s border to all the way to central Somalia. This problem is going on and we have a lot of displaced people also here in Mogadishu. So there is always a food shortage. The international NGOs don’t come over here and work that well here.”

The UN FAO says results of a detailed needs assessment for Somalia will be released next week. Asah says it is important that an assessment is done because the international community needs to go through the countryside as well as the cities: “If they want to make an assessment, I think it is very important that the international community intervene because a lot of people are dying from starvation and diseases.”