Mogadishu, 20 July 2011- On a visit to Mogadishu, Somalia, the African Union High Representative for Somalia, H.E Jerry Rawlings has appealed to the International Community to come to the aid of the country’s people as they face the world’s worst famine in decades.

Following a visit to the Badbado IDP camp, situated at Ex-Control Afgooye where 3,501 families (with 37% of children and 45% of women) are temporarily sheltered in poor conditions and where he donated relief food from the African Union Commission, the AU high Representative, H.E Jerry Rawlings stated that he was in Mogadishu, Somalia to see for himself the worsening and dire humanitarian situation with a view of briefing Heads of State on the African continent and the rest of the world on the situation and the need for immediate humanitarian intervention. He was accompanied throughout his various engagements by the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Hon. Wafula Wamunyinyi.

H.E. Jerry Rawlings expressed solidarity with the people of Somalia saying “We face an imminent difficulty that will cost too many lives.”

He appealed to the international community to “demonstrate compassion for Somalia” adding that Somali people should not be viewed through the prism of the country’s long conflict, terrorism and piracy.

“Prejudice or donor fatigue on account of the last twenty years of conflict would only serve as deterrents of impediment to the delivery of help. We must instead see the millions of men, women and children who are the innocent victims of this situation,” he said. He expressed his conviction that the world would not abandon Somalia in this time of need.

H.E Jerry Rawlings also commended Somalia factions who had hitherto blocked humanitarian aid to their areas of control for opening up those areas for aid and supplies and hoping that they will honour this commitment.

The AU High Representative for Somalia thanked Middle Eastern countries, such as Qatar, as well as Northern Sudan for the aid they had already sent to Somalia.

On the country’s peace process and following a meeting with H.E President Sheikh Sharif, the speaker Hassan Sherrif Aden and the new Prime Minister, H.E. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, H.E. Jerry Rawlings stressed the need for a strong, efficient and accountable government so as to deal with the prevailing scourge of Famine in Somalia. He also stated that, it was crucial to continue supporting the government as it strives to develop a roadmap to the end of the transition and the holding of democratic elections.

African Union Mission For Somalia (AMISOM)