UN chief appeals for international support to address Somalia drought

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Secretary-General António Guterres arrives in Mogadishu, Somalia.  Photo: UN News/Laura Gelbert

The UN Secretary-General is urging the international community to support Somalia which is in the grip of a severe drought.

António Guterres arrived in the country on Tuesday, where nearly half of the population requires humanitarian assistance.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN chief said there is a chance to avoid the worst in Somalia.

And while he praised the "excellent cooperation" between the government and the humanitarian community, Mr Guterres stated that international support is still needed.

He called on countries to support a US$825 million appeal to address the drought.

"Without that support we will have a tragedy that is absolutely unacceptable and that the Somali people do not deserve.  But this is also a moment of hope: a moment of hope because Somalia is turning the page. A new President was elected. A new Prime Minister was appointed. There is a very strong commitment to enhance security and at the same time to enhance the capacity of the government to start to provide effective services to the population, requiring, of course, the solidarity of the international community."

The appeal will support 5.5 million people in Somalia for a six-month period.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’08″

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