Somalia’s PM says 110 dead from hunger

Published March 5, 2017
Displaced Somali girls who fled the drought in southern Somalia stand in a queue to receive food handouts at a feeding centre in a camp in Mogadishu, Somalia. ─AP
Displaced Somali girls who fled the drought in southern Somalia stand in a queue to receive food handouts at a feeding centre in a camp in Mogadishu, Somalia. ─AP

MOGADISHU: Somalia’s prime minister announced on Saturday that 110 people have died from hunger in the past 48 hours in a single region as a severe drought threatens millions of people across the country.

It was the first death toll announced by Somalia’s government since it declared the drought a national disaster on Tuesday.

The United Nations estimates that 5 million people in this Horn of Africa nation need aid, amid warnings of a full-blown famine.

Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire spoke during a meeting with the Somali National Drought Committee. The death toll he announced is from the Bay region in the southwest part of the country alone.

Somalia was one of four regions singled out by the UN secretary-general last month in a $4.4 billion aid appeal to avert catastrophic hunger and famine, along with northeast Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen.

All are connected by a thread of violent conflict, the UN chief said. The UN humanitarian coordinator, StephenO’Brien, was expected to visit Somalia in the next few days.—AP

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