A Hong Kong man who witnessed at first-hand the horror and devastation of famine-stricken Somalia has made a plea for donations from the city. Irishman Mark Mullan worked in Somalia for two years from 1992-94, first with Irish non-governmental organisation Concern Worldwide and then with the United Nations. Working in the likes of Waajid, Baidoha, Mogadishu and Kismayo, he saw more than his fair share of tragedy and death. 'Once, while I was working in Waajid, I came across two very sick children in the evening and we did our best to help them. 'I made a mental note to go back to see them the next morning, but when I got there people were digging a hole to bury them in,' Mullan said. 'It was the beginning of a measles epidemic, which is enough to kill anyone in such a weak and undernourished state. Over 200 people died that day.' The UN Refugee Agency warned last week that high levels of malnutrition, combined with ongoing violence in the war-torn nation, threatened 'a human tragedy of unimaginable proportions'. Following several seasons of failed rains and spiralling global food prices, drought has hit more than 12 million people across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Thousands of Somali refugees are making perilous journeys of hundreds of miles to seek assistance, with 54,000 people crossing into Ethiopia and Kenya in June alone. Mullan said: 'I went from a very comfortable, privileged life in Ireland where I'd never even seen a dead person before, to witnessing constant death in Somalia. 'Initially we took care of feeding around 33,000 people in the likes of Waajid and the situation was desperate.' But after 10 years of working for humanitarian organisations in Africa, Mullan decided to quit. 'After a while you end up running on empty. I was exhausted and needed a change,' he explained. Mullan, 49, has lived in Hong Kong for the past five years and runs his own recruitment agency. But the similarities he sees between his time in Somalia in the 1990s and what is happening today stirred him into action. 'It's history repeating itself. The issues then are the same issues now, and that's that the victims of conflict and famine deserve aid. 'My appeal is just for people to do something. I'm not advocating specific groups, just for people to take action and donate to established humanitarian organisations like Oxfam and the International Committee of the Red Cross. 'People are hugely generous in Hong Kong. They respond so generously when they have disasters in [mainland] China. 'If they could be as generous to Somalia it would be great.'