Health Care

United Nations chief Guterres seeking another $900 million for Somalia crisis

United Nations chief Guterres seeking another $900 million for Somalia crisis”

"This morning we presented the revised humanitarian response plan seeking an additional US$900 million to the end of the year", he said.

"Since my visit to Baidoa in March, authorities and humanitarian partners have worked together to make extraordinary strides to rapidly reach millions of vulnerable Somalis with water, food and critical health and nutrition services", Mr. Guterres said.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and United Nations Secretary General António Manuel chair the London Conference on Somalia at Lancaster House in London, 11 May, 2017.

The U.K. pledged £100 million (US$129 million) in February in aid to Somalia, where more than 6 million people- more than half of the population -are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

WHO is concerned by the chronic shortage of funding for life-saving work in Somalia in response to the ongoing drought that has plunged the country further towards starvation, disease, and health insecurity.

Somalia is also facing new military interest from the United States, as President Donald Trump has approved expanded operations, including airstrikes, against al-Shabab.

The president of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, recently declared war against al-Shabab and has given himself a deadline of two years to defeat the group.

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Somalia's government and its foreign backers earlier said they were hammering out a plan to try and strengthen the army to take over the fight against al Shabaab militants from over-stretched African Union troops. Aid agencies have expressed concern that the military moves could endanger the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the drought.

They spoke at a high-level conference to address the Horn of Africa nation's deepening humanitarian and security crisis.

The conference is also looking to ensure Somalia can take greater responsibility for its own security from the 22,000-strong African Union troop deployment.

Delegates from 37 global organizations and countries, including U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, are expected to attend the conference to give support to the new Somali government's plans for security structures and political stability.

Theresa May said the aim was "to degrade al-Shabaab by having Somali forces take over the security of the country".

Humanitarian agencies operating in Somalia say they are concerned about reports of upcoming military offensives in the country at a time when the risk of starvation still persists.

Earlier in the day, the World Health Organization (WHO) called on the worldwide community for immediate action to save lives in the crisis-torn country.

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