U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Wednesday that Somalia risks returning to famine without urgent aid, as he visited the Horn of Africa country three years since more than 250,000 people died of hunger.
Ban, along with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, met Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud inside the fortified airport zone in Mogadishu.
Somalia has made â€œremarkable progressâ€ as it continues on a path toward economic and political stability, Ban told reporters.
However, more than 3 million Somalis need humanitarian assistance, â€œand unfortunately, that number is growing,â€ the secretary-general said. â€œI urge donors to step up contributions to avert another famine in Somalia.â€
The United Nations says it has about one-third of the funding it needs, having received $318 million of the $933 million it appealed for. More than 1 million Somalis are in conditions close to famine, while over 1 million have fled their homes due to fighting or hunger, and another million are living as refugees in the region, it says.