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12 May 2017, 12:10 | Violet Powell
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed vowed to reform his country's economy
Some 1.4 million Somali children are projected to suffer acute malnutrition this year, 50 percent more than estimated in January, UNICEF says.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May meets with President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta ahead of the Somalia Conference at No 10 Downing Street in London, Thursday, May 11, 2017.
"Al Shabaab has tripled its attacks on Mogadishu, and Somali forces do not yet have the capability to take over control of their own security", May said in opening remarks.
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni is pictured arriving at the London Somalia Conference at Lancaster House in London on Thursday.
The United Nations is seeking a further $900 million this year for Somalia, where more than six million people need humanitarian assistance and 275,000 malnourished children are at risk of starvation, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said today.
The UN said last week that Somalia, hit by drought and on the verge of starvation, will count 1.4 million acutely malnourished children by the end of the year, up 50 percent from late 2016.
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has repeatedly vowed to defeat al-Shabab within two years.
"Somalis are dying of hunger and disease and we must move fast", the NGO's country director for Somalia, Abdikadir Mohamud, said.
Somalia is facing a terrible famine
They spoke at a high-level conference to address the Horn of Africa nation's deepening humanitarian and security crisis.
Pressure is growing on Somalia's military to assume full responsibility for the country's security as the 22,000-strong African Union multinational force, AMISOM, that has been supporting the fragile central government plans to leave by the end of 2020.
Despite the U.K.'s withdrawal from the European Union, a "global Britain" would continue to "drive worldwide efforts" to support Somalia, she said.
The African Union force "simply can not be expected to carry the burden of Somalia's security forever", the British prime minister said, noting that al-Shabab has tripled its attacks in the capital, Mogadishu.
World Health Organization said drought has also led to lack of clean water and the largest outbreak of cholera Somalia has seen in the last five years, with more than 36 000 cases and nearly 690 deaths so far in 2017 alone.
The kidnapping of aid workers and extortion at checkpoints are on the rise in Somalia, hindering efforts to prevent the country slipping into renewed starvation.
The call for unified action was echoed by humanitarian NGO Save the Children's CEO Kevin Watkins.
Around 40 delegations from countries and worldwide institutions such as the World Bank, the global Monetary Fund and the League of Arab States are set to participate.
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