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Drought-stricken Somalia needs help to avoid famine, Guterres says

Wednesday, March 08, 2017 - 01:24

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says almost half of the Somali population is in need of humanitarian assistance, and calls for international aid. Emily Wither reports.

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Mothers in Somalia are facing an agonising choice: Which child should they feed today? A devastating drought has killed off livestock and left the Horn of Africa nation facing the risk of another famine. Fatuma arrived in the capital of Mogadishu two weeks ago with her seven children - the family's herd of goats perished from hunger. She says dividing up a shrinking food supply among her hungry children means the youngest usually gets fed first. The numbers of people affected in Somalia are staggering and the U.N. is calling on rich countries to do more to help. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL, ANTONIO GUTERRES, SAYING: "We have 6.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Somalia that's almost half of the Somali population. We have 333,000 children that are acutely malnourished and the risk could go up to one million if there is not enough support to avoid it. The drought has shriveled grass and dried up water holes. The harvest has dropped by more than 40 percent. The appeal for help comes after U.S. President Donald Trump says he'll slash budgets for U.S. aid and diplomacy. That could reduce the support for the new U.N.-backed government here, which is also fighting to overcome an Islamist insurgency.

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Drought-stricken Somalia needs help to avoid famine, Guterres says

Wednesday, March 08, 2017 - 01:24