Skip to content Skip to navigation



Vatican Radio

The voice of the Pope and the Church in dialogue with the World


Church \ Church in Africa

Bishop Bertin on the crisis in Somalia

Drought in Somalia threatens the survival of people and animals - AP

Drought in Somalia threatens the survival of people and animals - AP

14/03/2017 14:55

(Vatican Radio) Hunger-related illnesses have killed dozens of children over the past two months at just one government-run hospital in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. That’s according to the United Nations. A severe drought has brought Somalia to the brink of famine.

There are currently 6.2 million people in need of assistance in Somalia, almost half of the country's population.

Bishop Giorgio Bertin, the Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu spoke to Lydia O’Kane about the desperate situation facing people in the country as a result of drought and insecurity.


“It is a severe crisis”, he said, “because the last two rainy seasons have been almost completely missed in several parts of Somalia but for the specific case of Somalia the problem of drought is coupled with insecurity.”

He goes on to say that although there is a recognized government, it governs only part of Mogadishu and some other areas and therefore, “the lack of real institutions is the other cause of this terrible situation.”

Church response

Asked about the Church’s response to the current crisis, Bishop Bertin said that Caritas Somalia and its partners CRS and Trocaire as well as other Catholic charities and the Consolata Sisters were responding to the crisis.

The people, noted the Apostolic Administrator, “feel particularly desperate”. He went on to say that that they are watching their sheep, goats, camels dying in the fields, adding that when they see their animals dying, they know that it will be them next.


14/03/2017 14:55