updated 7:33 AM MST, Nov 17, 2017
Drought forces children out of school
A third of children in Somalia's drought-affected areas are at risk of dropping out of school, the UN says, as a shortage of food and water has left more than 6.2 million people needing urgent help.
The drought is threatening the lives of millions and almost three million are going hungry. Three million children in the country are missing school and more than 100,000 could join them, according to the UN.
On Tuesday, Somalia's newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared a "national disaster" due to the drought. 
WATCH: Famine warning as drought devastates Somalia (2:26)
The Horn of Africa nation is one of three countries - along with Yemen and Nigeria - that the aid agencies say are on the verge of famine.
The desperate search for water and food proving particularly difficult for children.
"I'd love to go back to school, but I've been forced to leave because I'm the eldest child in my family and I need to work at home," Sadia Omar, a former student, told Al Jazeera.
"I fetch water and grass for the animals, but now because of the drought there is more work."
Al Jazeera's Fahmida Miller, reporting from Dollow in southern Somalia, said severe drought was forcing families to migrate in search of help.
"The number of children at this school [in the Dhuma Dhuma area] has halved in just three months," she said.
"Families here live off their livestock and they're doing all they can to keep their animals alive. If that means keeping their children out of school to look after them, many families are prepared to make the sacrifice."
READ MORE: 40 percent of Somalis don't have enough food to eat, says UN
On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Somalia was at risk of its third famine in 25 years. The last one, in 2011, killed almost 260,000 people.
The drought has led to a spread of acute watery diarrhoea, cholera and measles and nearly 5.5 million people are at risk of contracting waterborne diseases.
According to the WHO, more than 363,000 acutely malnourished children and 70,000 severely malnourished children need urgent, life-saving support.
"If the drought continues, these children will continue missing school and it will also impact their future learning and they won't come back," Abdihakim Ahmed, the headteacher at the school in Dhuma Dhuma, said.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies
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Office of the Spokesperson

June 26, 2013


Djibouti's National Day

On behalf of the government and the people of the United States, I extend my warmest wishes to the government and people of Djibouti on your National Day, June 27.

Djibouti has been a staunch supporter of peace and stability in the Horn of Africa. I am proud of the work we have both undertaken to support Somalia's political transition and our ongoing security cooperation through the African Union Mission in Somalia.

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Several people were wounded in a large explosion outside a mosque in the Kenyan capital Friday, the latest in a string of blasts in Nairobi, police sources and the Kenyan Red Cross said.

"At least 10 people were wounded," a police source said. Kenyan Red Cross officials said they had sent emergency teams after an "explosion near a mosque in Eastleigh", a largely ethnic Somali district of Nairobi.

The blast follows a roadside bomb explosion also in Eastleigh district on Wednesday evening, that killed one person and wounded eight others, as well as a bomb on a bus last month also in Eastleigh that killed seven.

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The latest in a succession of scandals in the UK House of Lords is a reminder that oversight and restraint are crucial ingredients of strong democratic institutions.

Willful neglect of effective checks and balances on the executive and legislature has been widespread in the post-independence era in sub-Saharan Africa.

The imperial ambitions of presidents need to be curbed by law. In Cameroon, President Paul Biya pushed through reforms to abolish presidential term limits in 2008, enabling him to lead the country for his sixth consecutive term.

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The different wars Somalia had witnessed over more than 20 years rendered many of its citizens handicapped in the absence of specialized centers to cater for their needs and help them reintegrate into society.

War, famine, and water loaded with toxic wastes are all factors that contribute to increasing the number of the handicapped in Somalia. (Al Arabiya)Mohamed Hussein was shot during a fight between two state soldiers and the culprit was never arrested. Mohammed, who was one day dreaming to become a runner, is now using a wheelchair.

“My injury did not affect my morale and I continued my education. However, sometimes I am in pain because of splinter that had settled into my body,” he said.

On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, scores of disabled Somalis gather here to express their needs on their universal day.

They want to stress that they are capable of taking part in public life if the society, which they say is looking down upon them, is really willing to offer them help.

On the occasion, handicapped Somalis have called upon the new Somali government to support them and provide them with care.

A sizable portion of the world’s population is suffering from disability, but war, famine, and water loaded with toxic wastes are all factors that contribute to increasing the number of the handicapped in Somalia, a country that suffered a lot under the yoke of armed conflict.


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