PRETORIA– The South African government has donated seven million Rand (about 562,000 US dollars) to the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) humanitarian response for Somalia which has been hit by a prolonged drought.
The funds will go towards providing life-saving assistance to vulnerable communities in the Horn of Africa nation. South Africa’s Director for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Seleka, handed over the donation to the WFP and officials from the Somali government in Mogadishu.
The United Nations estimates that 6.2 million people in Somalia, or half of the country’s population, are in dire need of food assistance because of an on-going drought. It is anchored in decades of fragility, early through conflict and thereafter through droughts, that have affected the country, said WFP country director in Somalia Laurent Bukera.
Unlike in 2011, this time the drought has not caused the situation to deteriorate to a famine because of fast response and better access for aid workers to affected areas.
Somali State Minister Abdullahi Hamud said help was needed as soon as possible. Humanitarian aid if made available early and if sustained works and can help prevent a dire situation.
At the beginning of this year, Somalia, through the UN, made an appeal for 1.6 billion USD to help avert a humanitarian crisis. South Africa has responded with a cash donation of 7.0 million Rand. The funds will go towards providing food assistance to those in need.
Seleka says they are led by a codes of ethics. What guides us is the spirit of Ubuntu and the indomitable spirit of Pan Africanism.
The drought, which has spread over four consecutive poor rainy seasons, has forced millions out of their homes. The worst affected are children and women. South Africa says it will work with the Somali government to find lasting solution to food insecurity in the horn of Africa nation.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK