Aid agencies ramp up assistance to avert famine in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) — Humanitarian agencies said Monday they are scaling up assistance and protection to avert famine unfolding in Somalia, a relief official said.
Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Peter de Clercq said accelerated scale-up of assistance is required to avoid a dramatic rise in the number of malnourished children and a spike in mortality similar to that seen in April and May 2011, several months before the last famine was declared in July 2011.
“The drought situation is deteriorating rapidly. We are at a critical phase and we need to act fast and efficiently to avoid the worst. It is critical that everyone, including the international community, Somalis in-country and in the Diaspora, lines up behind the Somali leadership to help prevent another famine,” Clercq said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.