BAIDOA, Somalia — The new leader of the United Nations visited Somalia on Tuesday to issue a global appeal for aid as the war-torn nation teeters on the brink of its second famine in a decade.
It was António Guterres’s first field visit as U.N. secretary general, a position the former Portugal prime minister assumes during a time of historic humanitarian crises. South Sudan recently declared a famine, and three other countries — Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria — are on the cusp of similar disasters.
“Conflict, drought, disease — the combination is a nightmare,” Guterres said Tuesday.
More than 6 million Somalis, about half of the country’s population, are grappling with severe food shortages, according to the United Nations. At least 110 people, mostly women and children, died of malnutrition or a related disease in a two-day period in just one region earlier this month, according to the country’s prime minister.