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Pope Francis calls for attention to deadly' drought hitting Somalia

14/08/2022

Pope Francis calls for attention to deadly' drought hitting SomaliaPope Francis on Sunday urged help to desperate, hungry and thirsty people who are suffering in Somalia regions hardest hit by the drought

by Agence France-Presse

14-08-2022 19:25

in Christian Connect

A woman carries a water container at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Baidoa, Somalia, on 13 February, 2022. Insufficient rainfall since late 2020 has come as a fatal blow to populations already suffering from a locust invasion between 2019 and 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic. For several weeks, humanitarian organizations have multiplied alerts on the situation in the Horn of Africa, which raises fears of a tragedy similar to that of 2011, the last famine that killed 260 000 people in Somalia. Desperate, hungry and thirsty, more and more people are flocking to Baidoa from rural areas of southern Somalia, one of the regions hardest hit by the drought that is engulfing the Horn of Africa. Photo: YASUYOSHI CHIBA / AFP

Pope Francis on Sunday called for international help for Somalia to fight a deadly drought that the UN says has displaced one million people.

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The 85-year-old pontiff drew attention to what he called the serious humanitarian crisis in Somalia and parts of surrounding countries after his weekly Angelus prayer at the Vatican.

The people of this region, already living in very precarious conditions, are now in a deadly period due to drought,

he said. I hope that international solidarity can respond to this emergency.

ALSO READ: Church fire kills at least 41, most of them children

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Pope urges help for drought-hit Somalia Unfortunately, war diverts attention and resources, but these are the goals that demand the most commitment the fight against hunger, health, education.

Somalia and its neighbours in the Horn of Africa including Ethiopia and Kenya are gripped by the worst drought in more than 40 years after four failed rainy seasons that have decimated crops and livestock.

More than 755 000 people have fled their homes but remain within Somalia's borders, which, when added to those who have fled abroad, brings the total to a million, the UN refugee agency UNHCR and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said Thursday.

Starvation is now haunting the entire country,

said Mohamed Abdi, the NRC's country director in Somalia. Conflict-wracked Somalia is particularly ill-equipped to cope with the situation, with a grinding Islamist insurgency limiting humanitarian access to parts of the country. Al-Shabaab militants have ratcheted up their attacks in recent months.

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ALSO READ: Calls for peace in Kenya as presidential race tightens

Agence France-Presse

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