The South African Government responds to the Famine in Somalia, 22 July 2011

The South African government has noted the declaration of famine in Southern Somalia by the United Nations. In this regard, It is estimated that around 3.7 million people – almost half of the Somali population are suffering from drought and famine that it is expected to spread to all eight regions in Somalia.

Following the out-break of Famine, various relief organisations as well as individual countries have begun delivering aid to the famine stricken regions in Southern Somalia as well as the refugee camp on the border of Kenya and Somalia. In addition, food parcels, tents and water purification equipment as well as medical kits have also been delivered.

Heeding the call from the African Union, the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has been providing medical assistance to those affected in Mogadishu. In assisting the dire humanitarian and socio-economic situation prevailing in Somalia, the South African Government supports the UN efforts towards the alleviation of the position of the internally displaced persons and refugees by donating funds to the UN for its relief efforts.

The Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO), has partnered with a number of NGO’s and relief organisations, seeking to deliver aid to the famine and drought-stricken Somalia. The details of a partnership with the Public Broadcaster to mobilise South Africans to contribute to this cause will be unpacked next week. The South African government has committed financial and human resources to this initiative.

On a multilateral level, the AU Peace and Security Council has launched an appeal for African Governments to fully mobilise themselves in support of the Somali people. In this respect, the Council has urged all AU Member States to contribute, in whatever way they can, to the alleviation of the suffering of the Somali people and has also called on African humanitarian NGOs to contribute to the on-going efforts.


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