Five Somali ministers have accused the central government of failing to release $9.6 million in relief funds received from the UAE to begin humanitarian operations in the country.
As famine is expected in parts of Somalia between October and December this year, ministers from the states of South West, Galmudug, Puntland, Jubaland, and Hirshabelle in a joint statement on Wednesday asked President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to release humanitarian funds received from the UAE more than three months ago for drought relief.
“With great concern that the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate as famine is projected in parts of Somalia between October and December this year unless urgent humanitarian assistance is provided,” the statement said.
They urged the federal government to “immediately” release the humanitarian fund set aside to address the country’s drought crisis.
The Horn of Africa country is the most drought-stricken in the region, with over 7.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
According to UNICEF, drought-related malnutrition has already claimed the lives of 730 children in stabilization centers.
Somalia has already declared a state of emergency due to the three-year drought.