10 Jul 2011

UN appeal for Somalia drought help

1:03 pm on 10 July 2011

The head of the United Nations Refugee Agency, Antonio Guterres, says he wants international agencies to go into Somalia to tackle the effects of a devastating drought.

Somalia is the worst hit in the drought, which is affecting about 10 million people in four countries in the Horn of Africa region.

Mr Guterres says the situation for the Somali people is likely to be "absolutely appalling", with some people still trapped by conflict.

He acknowledges that delivering aid would involve deals with local militant groups, including al-Shabab, which is listed by the US as "terrorist" and says the UN is involved in discussions aimed at overcoming these security obstacles.