by Xinhua reporter Wang Jiangang
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- The drought situation in Somalia is very critical and some 1 million people, including children, women, and elderly people, are displaced by the drought, Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, Somali president's special envoy for drought relief, has said.
"They don't have food. They don't have water. They don't have health care. We are facing the greatest humanitarian catastrophe in the last two decades," Warsame told Xinhua in an interview on Thursday ahead of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
"We are knocking on every door to get that support" to help several million Somalis who are struggling to survive, said Warsame.
According to the United Nations, the worst famine of the 21st century is unfolding in the Horn of Africa. For months, a climate-change-fueled drought of historic proportions, coupled with other factors, has caused severe food shortages in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
Four consecutive failed rainy seasons have threatened millions with food insecurity in the Horn of Africa country. "If the fifth rainy season fails in October, we are knocking the door of famine," the special envoy said.
With the help of the international community, Warsame said 68 percent of Somalia's 2022 humanitarian response plan had been funded. "But still, the gap is huge," he said.
On his country's resources and advantages, Warsame said Somalia is "the land of resources," including farming, fishery, renewable energy and even "entrepreneur skills of the communities."
"But we cannot take that advantage, and we cannot realize that potentiality because we are facing a dire situation caused by the drought" and the destruction of extremists, he added.
According to Warsame, Somalia's government is coordinating efforts to respond to the humanitarian situation, allocating resources, easing access, implementing tax exemption and expediting customs clearance for humanitarian delivery.
"We are trying to create a conducive environment where the international community and donor community can provide assistance," he noted.
"We are appealing to international community and particular community to pay attention (to our plight), to support and fund the humanitarian response plan that the government of Somalia has developed," said the special envoy. ■