Boris Johnson makes surprise visit to Somalia as Sir Mo Farah backs desperate appeal for millions facing starvation in East Africa
BORIS JOHNSON has made a surprise visit to Somalia as Sir Mo Farah backed an appeal for millions facing starvation in East Africa.
Britain is appealing for more aid for the drought in Somalia – which has been declared a national disaster.
Today the four-time Olympic champion called on Brits to dig deep to help the 800,000 children under FIVE who are at risk of starvation in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
Sir Mo said it “breaks his heart” to see families suffering in the country he was born in.
In February, the United Nations formally declared a famine in parts of South Sudan, the first time in six years such an announcement has been made.
Mr Johnson raised the issue of the drought with the President, and also discussed the security situation in the region.
His visit was not announced for security reasons – but he went on to see demonstrations of training that the British military are giving to the Somalian army forces.
The Foreign Secretary went on to meet with regional leaders, MPs and law students.
He said today: “I was particularly impressed by the demonstrations of the practical help that the UK is delivering on the ground, from our military providing essential training for Somali armed forces to the live-saving humanitarian support from UK Aid.
“All of this is vital if Somalia is going to move forward to achieve long-term stability and prosperity.”
He will now go on to visit Uganda, Ethopia and Kenda to discuss regional security and the upcoming London Somalia Conference in May.
Sir Mo has been named ambassador for Save the Children – one of 13 agencies helping to tackle the crisis.
He said today: “As a father-of-four, it hurts to see children without food and water, but this is a reality being faced by parents in East Africa right now.
“The drought is really bad and there are millions of children at risk of starvation.”
Ministers in Britain have pledged to match public donations up to £5 million for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) East Africa Crisis Appeal – which aims to bring help to 16 million people. Video appeals will be shown on Sky, the BBC, ITV, and Channels 4 and 5.
The drought is affecting around 6 million people in Somalia alone – half the country.
riti Patel, International Development Secretary, said: “Britain has acted without hesitation – UK aid-funded food, water and emergency healthcare is being delivered across East Africa right now, but more support is urgently needed to prevent a catastrophe.
“The international community must now follow Global Britain’s lead to save lives and stop the famine before it becomes a stain on our collective conscience.
“The world cannot afford to wait.”
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Source: The Sun