FAO Holds Second Emergency Meeting On Famine; WHO Warns Of Cholera Spread; Turkish PM Visits Mogadishu

For the second time in one month, representatives of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held an emergency meeting on Thursday in Rome “to take stock of the humanitarian disaster” in the Horn of Africa, the Guardian reports (Tran, 8/18). The officials “called for a twin-pronged approach to tackle the food crisis, stressing immediate relief and the strengthening of the resilience of affected communities to enable them to cope with future shocks in the drought-prone region,” the U.N. News Centre reports (8/18).

Meanwhile, the WHO “decried increased number of confirmed cholera cases in the Somalian capital Mogadishu” and “confirmed cholera in Banadir, Bay, Mudug and Lower Shabelle regions,” adding that “the number of acute watery diarrhea cases has increased dramatically in the last few months,” Xinhua notes. WHO Representative for Somalia Marthe Everard said, “We urgently need more mobile clinics that will provide basic health care services to the many displaced and who will strengthen the reporting on new outbreaks. This is critical to our response and our ability to save lives,” the news agency reports (Mutai, 8/18).

“Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan toured Mogadishu on Friday, in the first visit by a major leader in nearly 20 years, to witness the devastation wrought by a famine in the Somali capital,” Agence France-Presse writes. Earlier in the week, Turkey hosted a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, where leaders “pledged to donate $350 million to assist the drought- and famine-stricken Somalis,” according to the news service (Abdinur, 8/19). “Turkey has not only sent food and medical aid to Somalia, but has raised $115m from the Turkish public,” BBC News reports (8/19).

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