Somaliland's plea: 'Don't wait for people to die'

Credit: ITV News

As she watches her home Somaliland stand on the brink of famine, a senior official has put out an emotional plea to the world to "not wait until people die."

With more than one and a half million people facing the prospect of starving to death, Ayan Mahamoud says it is "already too late - but every day counts, every hour counts".

Speaking to ITV News, Ms Mahamoud broke down in tears recalling how nomad communities have "lost all their animals".

Her plea comes as the UN announced the world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since 1945 - with over 20 million people facing starvation and famine.

Somaliland, along with other Horn of Africa countries, has been starved of rain for three consecutive years, leaving over half of its 18 million livestock dead.

Dead animals are a common sight now in Somaliland. Credit: ITV News

Ms Mahamoud, the head of Somaliland Mission to the UK, went on to say that the world “knew this was coming”.

She said: “The signs were there in November – and now we are in March. It’s four months.

“People lost all their animals. Now people are starting to die.”

Because Somaliland is not a recognised country, Ms Mahamoud is not officially the ambassador, but she holds the highest post at the Somaliland mission.

Somaliland's rains have failed for three consecutive years. Credit: ITV News

She added: “We hope we will survive. Somalis are resilient people, but this is beyond their control.”

Speaking to ITV News from Somaliland earlier this week, a medical worker echoed her pleas for help.

She said: “We need immediate support, including food, water and medicine.

“When I say immediate I mean now. We have the chance to save lives now.”

It may be too late for this people by the time help arrives - if it does at all. Credit: ITV News