Why Somalis are fleeing their country and seeking refuge in Canada

WATCH: Somalia is one of the four African countries struggling to keep around 20 million people alive as a massive famine grips the country.


In the wake of a catastrophic famine and wide-spread drought, Somalis are fleeing their country in order to seek refuge in places like Canada and the United States.

Many are also making a risky trek from the U.S. to the Canadian border in attempt flee President Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban and immigration crackdown.

READ MORE: Seeking Asylum: Canada a ‘dreamland’ for Somalis in Minneapolis

Welcome Place, a Winnipeg organization that helps settle newcomers, says a majority of asylum-seekers that come in the country are from Somalia.

In March, the United Nations (UN) said Somalia is on the brink of a full-blown famine. The country’s government declared the drought that’s hitting the area, a natural disaster.

More than 1.4 million children in the region are at risk “imminent risk of death” and half the population in Somalia (more than six million people), requires humanitarian assistance, according to the UN.

Somalia was one of four regions singled out by the UN secretary-general last month in a $4.4 billion aid appeal to avert the massive hunger, along with northeast Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen. All are connected by a thread of violent conflict, the U.N. said.

WATCH: Asylum seeker describes long journey to Canada from Somalia

Thousands have been streaming into Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, in search of food aid, overwhelming local and international aid agencies. Over 7,000 internally displaced people checked into one feeding center recently.

Endless conflict

Somalia, which faced famine in 2010-2011, has endured years of conflict and attacks by Islamic militants of the al Shabab group.

READ MORE: 110 starve to death in 2 days in drought-ravaged Somalia

The endless conflict has forced thousands to flee their homes and abandon their livestock. Many some to places such as Canada and the U.S. hoping to escape the violence and famine.

WATCH: 20 million people in 4 countries facing starvation, famine: UN

With files from the Canadian and American Press

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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