News ID: 5884
Publish Date: 30 August 2011 - 10:55
Iran is to dispatch its eighth humanitarian aid convoy to famine-hit Somalia as part of attempts to help the people of the Horn of Africa nation.

Head of Iran's Red Crescent Society (IRCS) Public Relations Pouya Hajian told Press TV on Monday that Iran's eighth humanitarian aid shipment for drought-stricken Somalia is being loaded into two cargo planes at Payam Airport, located ۴۰ kilometers (24 miles) west of the Iranian capital Tehran.

He added that the 80-ton consignment comprising medical supplies will be dispatched to the Somali capital Mogadishu's Aden-Adde International Airport on Monday night.

Drought and famine have affected more than 11.8 million people across Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Somalia has been the hardest-hit country in what is being described as the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in 60 years.

According to the United Nations, a quarter of Somalia's 9.9 million people are now either internally displaced or living outside the country as refugees.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on August 15 called on Iranians to rush to the aid of the Muslim people of Somalia.

“These days, the Horn of Africa and particularly the catastrophe-ridden country of Somalia are witnessing one of the most painful human crises in which the lives of millions of Somali women and children are in danger due to drought, famine and the silence of international organizations,” read a statement by the Leader.

The United Nations says that more than thirteen children out of every 10,000 aged less than five die in the Somalia's famine zone every day.

"This means that 10 per cent of children under five are dying every 11 weeks. These figures are truly heart-wrenching," UN representative to Somalia Augustine Mahiga told the UN Security Council on August 10.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew the country's former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

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