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Somalia continues to face extreme humanitarian challenges: UN envoy

The United Nations envoy for Somalia on Monday said that Somalis continue to face extreme humanitarian challenges.

“Back-to-back droughts, flooding, conflict and insecurity have left 5.2 million people in Somalia in need of assistance,” James Swan, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Somalia, told the Security Council meeting on the situation in Somalia.

He added this was before the worst locust outbreak Somalia has experienced in 25 years.

Noting that the Food and Agriculture Organization is supporting the government to mitigate the potentially catastrophic impact on food security, Swan called on donors to urgently provide funding and support for the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan.

“Longer term, we must align behind the Somali Government’s National Development Plan to advance humanitarian, development and peace building goals.”

Regional cooperation is essential to address the many challenges in the Horn of Africa, said Swan, adding that the efforts by the president and regional leaders to resolve differences and strengthen ties are welcomed.

According to Swan, there is good progress on Somalia’s economic priorities. The Executive Boards of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have confirmed Somalia’s eligibility for debt relief under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.

Xinhua.