South Africa to airlift SADC Member States’ contributions to Somalia

South Africa will today, 23 November 2011, begin airlifting SADC Member States’ food assistance (264 tons) to Mogadishu via Nairobi. The assistance will be distributed in Mogadishu by the World Food Programme’s local office from 24 November 2011.

Out of concern about the current situation in Somalia, SADC Member States, at the 31st Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in August 2011, passed the “Declaration in Solidarity with the People and Government of Somalia on the Famine Situation Affecting the Country”.

The declaration encouraged SADC Member States to assist the Government and People of Somalia affected by the drought in the Horn of Africa. This prompted SADC Member States to adopt Summit Decision 25, in which South Africa offered to airlift SADC contributions from the region to Somalia.

Somalia, as well as other countries in the Horn of Africa, has been severely affected by the worst drought to strike the region in 60 years. This has been exacerbated by continued instability in Somalia, which has resulted in large numbers of displaced Somalis.

At least six regions in Somalia are now famine zones with famine likely to spread further in the coming months. The United Nations has indicated that about four million people are severely affected in Somalia and that 750 000 people are at risk of death in the absence of an adequate response.

The plane will be loaded at about 18h00 today and will depart at about 21h00 from the cargo section of OR Tambo International Airport.

Statement by Mr. Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for DIRCO

For general enquiries, please contact Mr Nelson Kgwete on 076 608 8567


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