Somali famine: Ghana schoolboy raises aid money

Andrew Andasi (L) and Ismail Omer, representative of the WFP to Ghana Andrew Andasi (L) met WFP representative Ismail Omer to ask for advice

An 11-year-old Ghanaian schoolboy has so far raised more than $500 (£300) for victims of the famine in Somalia.

Andrew Andasi launched his campaign last week after watching footage of people walking in search of food.

He told the BBC he wanted to raise a total of $13m during his school holidays from private donations.

After a meeting with the UN World Food Programme Bank director in Ghana to ask for advice, Andrew set up a bank account for donations on Tuesday.

"I'm very very sure that I can raise it in just one month," he told the BBC.

"I want individuals, companies, churches, other organisations to help me get 20m Ghana cedis."

TV guest

He said that UN organisations had advised him to raise money rather than food for his Save Somali Children from Hunger campaign.

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When he came to my office and said this is what he is doing, I was so delighted - I became emotional”

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"If they send it to Somalia they can buy it [food] somewhere around Somalia… because if we gather the food items it will take a long time and the plane will cost a lot," he said.

The BBC's Samuel Bartels in the capital, Accra, says the boy's determination has impressed Ghanaians and he has been appearing as a guest on TV and radio shows in recent days.

Ismail Omer, the WFP representative in Ghana, said he was impressed with his efforts.

"He is doing a lot of work and that is laudable," Mr Omer told the BBC.

"When he came to my office and said this is what he is doing, I was so delighted - I became emotional.

Internally displaced children queue to collect food relief from the UN World Food Programme (WFP) at a settlement in the capital Mogadishu on 7 August 2011 The UN says about 3.6 million people are at risk of starvation in Somalia

"I hope he can be a good leader to his generation."

Andrew, who has printed flyers and stickers for his campaign, said he was moved to act by seeing the images of Somali women and children walking for days in search of food.

He said he wanted to use his time off during his summer school holidays to help them.

"There has been serious hunger and death for [a] long time [in Somalia] - and if it goes on their country will be useless," he told the BBC at the headquarters of Ecobank Ghana in Accra after setting up a special bank account for donations.

"If I get the opportunity to go to Somalia I will talk and I will let the UN to make an announcement the warring groups in Somalia should stop because of the sick children and women," he said.

The UN says about 3.6 million people are at risk of starvation in Somalia.

More than 11 million people across the Horn of Africa have been affected by drought this year - the region's worst for 60 years.

Map of food shortages and territorial divide in Somalia

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