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The executive director of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank says Somalians are in need of emergency assistance right now, as two consecutive seasons of drought have left the country on the brink of famine.

Through two projects, the Foodgrains Bank is supplying $1-million in aid to a total of about 12,000 people in Somalia. In one project, Foodgrains Bank member Emergency Relief & Development Overseas is providing about 6,000 people across six villages in northern Somalia with five monthly cash transfers to be used for purchasing local food. In the other, through ADRA Canada, another 6,000 in Somalia's South West state will receive four monthly emergency vouchers redeemable at local shops for certain foods and household items.

Jim PaulJim Cornelius listens to Paul Palet, a South Sudanese man displaced by fighting in South Sudan. Famine was declared in parts of South Sudan this year. (photo credit: Amanda Thorsteinsson)

Foodgrains Bank executive director Jim Cornelius says many people in the country rely on selling and buying livestock to make a living, but with the drought, they can't do that, and Cornelius says they don't have money to buy food.

Cornelius says the Foodgrains Bank does support programs in Somalia that work on strengthening livelihood, but right now what's needed is emergency assistance.

Foodgrains Bank International Programs Director Barbara Macdonald says while a famine hasn't been declared yet, there are still over six million people in Somalia in need of humanitarian assistance.

These projects are undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.