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LONDON: A senior Somali official has claimed the UK has lost its place among the world’s leading nations, with dire consequences for the Third World.

Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, the presidential envoy for the Somalia drought response, told the Guardian while on a tour of Europe to mobilize his country’s support that the UK’s loss of status is hurting developing countries because that he has played a crucial role in advocating on their behalf on issues such as food security and climate change.

Warsame, who holds dual British and Somali nationality, said the UK was second only to the US internationally in terms of influence, but is now letting its allies down.

As a result, he said, countries like his are left alone to face “the new climate reality”, the international community’s promises to access the poorest states to a $96.8 billion climate fund. dollars not materializing.

“We are living with the deadly consequences of climate change in Somalia,” he added. “Millions of children are malnourished, many will die and we don’t have a penny from this climate fund.”

He added, “Everybody said, ‘When you declare a famine, you’ll get attention.’ We are facing more than the magnitude of 2011, when we lost a quarter of a million of our fellow citizens. But in 2011, half the people died before famine was declared.

“We are more than famine in Somalia. We are coming out of a long conflict and have had successful and peaceful elections; we build our institutions, we build our national army, we push back Al-Shabaab. But at the same time, we have this drought.

“During the 2017 drought, the UK and its leadership were vital, its advocacy and energy was tremendous, and it encouraged people like me to match that commitment. Britain was a great ally of Somalia , but all that is gone.

“The UK is always an ally, and they help with security, but when it comes to humanitarian response, they are not there, neither in leadership nor in helping. It’s all gone. The UK used to provide leadership that others would follow.

Warsame criticized a concern for Ukraine by European nations for glossing over impending climate-related disasters, including the famine in Somalia.

“No one cares about climate, food security,” he said. “It’s all ‘Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine.’ It attracts all the political attention.

He added: “If we hadn’t had Ukraine, COVID-19 and the locust invasion (2019-2022), the effect might be less, but the drought is caused by climate change.

“We have had four failed rainy seasons now. The drought cycle used to be every 10 years, now it is four years and soon it will be two years. It’s not caused by Somalia – it was caused by the climate crisis.

Warsame said climate funds, diverted to technology, infrastructure, agriculture and fisheries, would stave off the threat of famine in Somalia if they had access to the $96.8 billion pot.

“Somalis are resilient people. They face all the pressures of insecurity and drought, and the world can learn from them how to be resilient in the face of such pressure,” he added.

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