Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, the special drought envoy for Somalia, arrived in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, on Monday evening. He will meet with representatives of the Canadian government and the area’s diaspora community there.
A small group of locals greeted Warsame at Ottawa’s international airport.
The special envoy, who is also a member of parliament, stated in a late-afternoon tweet on Monday that his mission was to “galvanise support for the people affected by the drought in Somalia and push for coordinated efforts to prevent famine.”
The special envoy was in Minneapolis on Sunday to meet with Somali-Americans for a fundraiser and brief them on famine relief efforts. Minneapolis is home to the largest Somali community in the US.
“I had a fruitful meeting with a group of Somali community activists, business owners, religious leaders, and elected officials from Minnesota. We discussed how to advocate for and mobilise resources to assist those affected by the drought in our country.”
On Wednesday, the Minister will address the Somali-Canadian diaspora at a local gathering in Ottawa to inform them about drought relief efforts and how they can help.
On Wednesday, the event will take place at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre.
After a fifth consecutive failed rain, the UN predicts that parts of Somalia will experience famine in the upcoming months. Compared to 2011, when famine in Somalia claimed the lives of over a quarter of a million people, nearly half of them children, the forecast is more ominous.
Local and international aid organisations claim that, as in other famines, women and children suffer the most from hunger.
Warsame’s primary responsibility as a special envoy is to raise money to stop the impending famine.
Following warnings from climate and drought experts in Somalia and other nations this week, hundreds of millions of dollars in additional aid for the Horn of Africa were pledged by international donors.
The US will contribute another $151 million, by far the largest amount, to famine relief in Somalia, according to Samantha Power, the administrator of USAID.
Since 2020, USAID has donated nearly $1.3 billion in humanitarian aid to the Horn.
As opposed to this, Canada made its largest contribution in April when Global Affairs Canada announced $73 million in funding to address the drought in the Horn of Africa, bringing the country’s total humanitarian aid to the area to $84.45 million in 2022.
Martin Griffiths, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator, visited Mogadishu at the beginning of September and estimated that $1 billion in additional funding would be urgently required to stop the famine in Somalia. He issued a warning that the nation in the Horn of Africa is expected to experience two more dry seasons, which will likely add to the already severe historic drought.