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UN appeals for humanitarian assistance for Somalia

The UN top relief official for Somalia has appealed to donors to scale up humanitarian assistance in the Horn of Africa nation amid severe drought.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Peter de Clercq said in Nairobi on Friday that the situation has become increasingly desperate for vulnerable families in need.

“We are running against time. Humanitarian organizations are stretched and require additional resources to tackle the growing needs from the drought situation and other crises,” he said.

The UN official said the 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan seeking 885 million U.S. dollars is only 47 percent funded four weeks before the end of the year while worsening drought conditions have left hundreds of thousands of Somalis facing severe food and water shortages.

The UN official highlighted the urgency of responding to the drought situation in Somalia, noting that drought in Puntland and Somaliland has deepened and spread to southern and central regions of the country.

According to the UN, 5 million Somalis — more than 40 percent of the country’s population — do not have sufficient food.

In addition, over 320,000 children under five are acutely malnourished, including more than 50,000 severely malnourished.

© Alleastafrica and Xinhua

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