Humanitarians launch US $885 million appeal for Somalia

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Aid workers prepare food for Somalis at a World Food Programme-supported feeding centre in the capital, Mogadishu. Photo: OCHA/A. Gaitanis

Humanitarian agencies are appealing for US$885 million to provide urgent life-saving assistance to more than three million people in Somalia this year.

The UN and its partners are seeking to reduce critical vulnerabilities and prevent more people from "sliding further into crisis."

Dianne Penn reports.

The appeal is being made against a backdrop of what is being described as "acute humanitarian needs" in Somalia.

It's estimated that nearly five million citizens are in need of life-saving and livelihood support.

Furthermore, more than 300,000 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished, 56,000 of whom face death if not treated.

Peter de Clercq, UN Humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, said the plan is to reduce the number of people requiring food assistance from nearly five million to just over three million.

He also wants to see a drop in malnutrition prevalence and deaths due to preventable causes.

The 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan is part of a three-year strategy which recognizes that the drivers of need in Somalia are largely cyclical and long-running.

Aid agencies say initiatives are underway to address underlying causes of humanitarian problems, such as the longstanding issue of displacement within the country.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’02″

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