Image: Times of Malta

By Chidiebere Ejike

The African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, Wednesday, said that it had donated food items worth 100,000 U.S. dollars to the Somali government to aid victims affected by drought.

In a statement, the African Union mission said it handed over 67 metric tonnes comprising rice, sugar, beans and vegetable oil to the government officials.

The Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson for Somalia, Francisco Madeira, who represented AU Commission chairperson, Moussa Mahamat, said the situation in that country still remains fragile due to poor rainfall and frequent disease outbreak.

Madeira said, “Whereas this condition (drought) has had some slight differences, the humanitarian plight in Somalia still requires continued and stepped-up support.

“During the commission chairperson’s announcement of donation of 100,000 dollars by the AU to assist the victims of the drought, he expressed his wish that others should emulate the gesture and this is a demonstration of the seriousness with which the AU views the humanitarian challenge in Somalia.”

While reiterating the commitment of AMISOM to continue supporting the Somali government and the humanitarian agencies, Madeira also urged AMISOM’s relevant ministries and local community leaders to ensure that food supplies are distributed and reach the people in need of assistance.

Mahamat, during his visit to Somalia in March, pledged humanitarian aid to drought victims, after an international appeal for emergency assistance by Somalia government. The appeal saw an unprecedented response by the Somali people and the international community, raising a total of 1.1 billion dollars, which helped avert famine.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Moalim, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, said the international community has done a tremendous job of providing the much-needed emergency supplies to the people of Somalia. He added that the government is working on mechanisms to reduce the impact of the recurrent drought by finding long-term solutions to enable Somalia to be more productive.

According to the United Nations, UN, some 6.2 million people across Somalia face acute food insecurity.

Author: Yemi Olarinre