(Updates with comment on troops in fifth paragraph.)
June 2 (Bloomberg) -- The International Contact Group on Somalia is seeking $304 million to deal with a humanitarian crisis resulting from drought and conflict in the war-torn African nation.
The group, consisting of mainly Western donors, has raised $226 million of $530 million needed to provide aid, it said in a statement distributed at a meeting today in Uganda’s capital, Kampala.
“Somalia is expected to slide deeper into crisis, leading to an increase in the number of Somalis in need of assistance from the current 2.4 million,” the group said.
Somalia’s government has been battling Islamic insurgents, including al-Shabaab, since 2007. The rebels control most of southern and central Somalia. Al-Shabaab, which the U.S. accuses of having links to al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups continue to undermine peace in the Horn of Africa country, the Contact Group said. The conflict and drought has displaced 100,000 people, it said.
Uganda and Burundi are willing to commit another 3,000 troops to the country, adding to the 9,000 they already have in place, if the funding is secured, Augustine Mahiga, the Unted Nation’s special representative to Somalia, told reporters in Kampala.
Somalia hasn’t had a functioning central administration since the ouster of former dictator, Mohamed Siad Barre, in 1991.
--Editors: Gordon Bell, Andrew Atkinson
To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala at firstname.lastname@example.org
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