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Somalia receives 25,000 tons of grain from Russia as humanitarian aid

Somalia received 25,000 tons of grain as humanitarian aid from Russia, which arrived in a cargo ship at Mogadishu’s sea port on Thursday. 

The shipment was handed over to the Somali Disaster Management Agency (SoDMA) at a ceremony attended by Somali Interior Minister Ahmed Moalim Fiqi and Russian Ambassador to Somalia and Djibouti Mikhail Golovanov at the Port of Mogadishu.

The humanitarian assistance is part of an agreement announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg in July to provide food assistance to African nations.

During the ceremony, Russian Ambassador Golovanov expressed concern about the food situation in Somalia as a result of heavy rains and flooding.

“We are seriously concerned about the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Somalia triggered by the heavy rains and floods across the country,” the ambassador said, adding, “I am much honored to be present with you in Mogadishu for the handover ceremony of Russian humanitarian aid to the federal government of Somalia.”

He said the second batch of Russian humanitarian grain aid is expected to arrive in Somalia later this year. 

Interior Minister Fiqi, flanked by several senior Somali government officials, thanked the Russian government for the humanitarian assistance, saying “The aid comes at a time when Somalia is in huge need of humanitarian assistance.”

He said the aid will be delivered to Somali federal member states to help support flood victims.

Somalia has declared a “national humanitarian emergency” due to the floods.

The death toll from heavy rains and flooding in Somalia has risen to 101, with 1 million people displaced and 1.5 million affected across the country, killing 4,000 livestock and destroying 140,000 homes.

At least 34 districts of Somalia have been impacted by heavy rains and floods since October, mostly in the southern areas, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Wednesday in a brief statement.

The south-central state of Hirshabelle and the Southwest and Jubaland states are the most affected areas.

The heavy rainfall in Somalia is expected to impact up to 1.5 million hectares (3.7 million acres) of farmland.

Source: AA