NEWYORK, MARCH 31 – Italy stands with Somalia: “I am pleased to share with you that Foreign Minister Alfano has just personally informed Secretary-General Guterres of an additional humanitarian aid contribution by Italy that will directly support the Somali people and government as they face this critical humanitarian situation”, the Italian Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Enzo Amendola told the Security Council today during a session devoted to the situation in the Horn of Africa country.
“We meet at a moment when Somalia faces the daunting prospect of its 3rd famine in 25 years”, the British Minister for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson said opening the meeting. Johnson, who chaired the Council as the UK holds the rotating presidency for the month of March, visited the country last week.
Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo urged the world to help avert a massive famine saying almost half the population is facing acute food shortages and 15 percent are facing famine now. Briefing the Council by videolink from Mogadishu Mohamed said that Somalis are resilient and would be the last to ask for help but drought has spawned a humanitarian crisis that could threaten the country’s political and security gains.
Amendola put the spotlight on all the fields in which Italy is lending a hand in view of the stabilization of Somalia, from direct training of Somali police forces to leading the EU training mission: “We are actively involved to support the empowerment of the Somali institutions. It is instrumental to this end that the Somali national and regional authorities work together to consolidate a united and federal Somalia”, he said.
The Italian Undersecretary opened his speech adding his condolences to those previously conveyed by Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni to his British counterpart Theresa May after Wednesday terroristic attack in London. Johnson led counterparts from across the globe in observing one minute’s silence in honour of the victims of the atrocity. (@OnuItalia)