SADC sends help to Somalia

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pretoria - Help is on the way for the thousands of Somalis affected by the drought that is ravaging that country.

Today, an aircraft carrying 264 tons of food aid will leave South Africa for Mogadishu via Nairobi.

The help is organized by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional leaders, following the declaration passed at their 31st Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in August 2011.

The declaration encouraged SADC member states to assist the government and people of Somalia affected by the drought in the Horn of Africa.

This prompted SADC Member States to adopt Summit Decision 25, in which South Africa offered to airlift SADC contributions from the region to Somalia.

Once there, the assistance will be distributed in Mogadishu by the World Food Programme's local office from Thursday, International Relations said on Wednesday.

Somalia, as well as other countries in the Horn of Africa, has been severely affected by the worst drought to strike the region in 60 years.

This has been exacerbated by continued instability in Somalia, which has resulted in large numbers of displaced Somalis.

At least six regions in Somalia are now famine zones, with famine likely to spread further in the coming months.

The United Nations has indicated that about four million people are severely affected in Somalia and that 750 000 people are at risk of death in the absence of an adequate response.

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