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World News

Pope Francis urges people to pay attention to the 'mortal danger' facing Somalia

by Alex Collett

Pope Francis has stressed the urgency of the situation in Somalia. 

During his Sunday address Francis highlighted the "mortal danger from drought" that is affecting Somalia and neighbouring countries. 

The Pontiff said: "The populations of this region, already living in very precarious conditions, are now in mortal danger from drought.

"I hope that international solidarity can respond effectively to this emergency. 

"Unfortunately, war diverts attention and resources, but these are the objectives that demand the greatest commitment: the fight against hunger, health, education."

According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) more than 755,000 people have been internally displaced in Somalia due to severe drought this year.

This latest figures bring the total to one million people since the drought began in January 2021.

Mohamed Abdi, NRC's country director in Somalia told Vatican News: "This one million milestone serves as a massive alarm bell for Somalia.

"Starvation is now haunting the entire country. 

"We are seeing more and more families forced to leave everything behind because there is literally no water or food left in their villages. 

"Aid funding urgently needs to be ramped up before it is too late."

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have also said that famine could set in eight regions of Somalia by September 2022 if crop failures and lower livestock production continue.

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