U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged for widespread international support for Somalia during his recent trip to the country in East Africa, which is grappling with the worst drought in decades.
Speaking to reporters, Guterres stated that he was in Somalia to alert the international community to the country’s critical need for support at this time. He highlighted that the nation is dealing with humanitarian crises while also facing a serious threat of terrorism.
The U.N chief was given a warm welcome at the international airport in the capital, Mogadishu, with Somali and U.N. officials greeting him with an honor guard.
In a joint press briefing with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Guterres thanked him for the welcome and expressed his eagerness to attend Iftar – the breaking of the Ramadan fast – later that day.
Mohamud, in response, thanked Guterres for his concern over Somalia’s problems and challenges, along with the U.N.’s commitment to supporting the nation’s plans for state-building and stabilizing the country.
Food security experts have revealed that more than 6 million people in Somalia’s historic drought are still facing extremely critical conditions.
Furthermore, the country is struggling with insecurity due to its ongoing battle against thousands of fighters from al-Qaida’s East Africa affiliate, al-Shabab.
During his visit, Guterres visited an internally displaced persons’ camp in Baidoa in southwest Somalia, where he commended the residents’ determination to rebuild their lives.
He added that the generosity of the international community was necessary to rescue people in such dire circumstances.
Habiba Isak Ibrahin, one of the individuals displaced by the severe drought, spoke to The Associated Press and revealed that she had lost her crops and livestock and that she had to seek help at the camp.