By Mohammed Dhaysane
Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire on Tuesday announced a new cabinet of ministers as the country is on the brink of a famine.
The new Cabinet includes a record number of six female ministers as well as a new post for humanitarian affairs and disaster management.
The prime minister named 27 ministers, 15 state ministers and 20 deputy ministers in a larger Somali Cabinet than the one under former premier Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke.
Khaire made the announcement during an official ceremony at the presidential palace in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
Yusuf Garaad Omar, a former journalist and Somali envoy to the UN, was appointed foreign minister.
Dr. Maryan Qasim was named as the minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management.
“... Although Somali people are facing huge drought and our people are dying from hunger and diseases every day caused by the looming famine, I want to tell you that my government has established a humanitarian and disaster management ministry,” the premier said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said last February that Somalia is in danger of suffering its third wave of famine in 25 years. Six years ago, about 260,000 people had died of starvation. WHO said more than 6.2 million people, half of the population, needed urgent humanitarian assistance.
He called Somali citizens and both parliament houses to support his new Cabinet.
The list of ministers will be submitted to the parliament for approval.
Khaire was named prime minister after President Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed Farmajo appointed him to the post on Feb. 22.