Somalia on the brink of a humanitarian emergency

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Philippe Lazzarini. UN Photo/Ryan Brown

Somalia is on the brink of a humanitarian emergency, according to the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in the country.

Speaking to the press in Nairobi on Monday, Philippe Lazzarini said early action is required to avert what he called this "looming" humanitarian emergency, which he added, he first warned about last February.

He reminded journalists that Somalia has one of the highest child mortality rates, with one in seven children dying before their 1st birthday.

There are also more than one million internally displaced people, living in what he said are "appalling, destitute conditions".

Mr Lazzarini explained that the next months will be key to determining in which direction the country is heading.

The situation has been so bad for so long that people can't really put this into context. What seems to be normal for Somalia would be declared elsewhere as already a humanitarian emergency. (0'15")

The humanitarian coordinator also recalled that the food security situation is most likely to worsen in the coming months due to a combination of delayed rains and disruption of the planting season caused by military offensives.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’14″

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