About 7.6 million people in Somalia are in need of humanitarian assistance and $2.6 billion in humanitarian funds are required to assist the affected people in the year 2023.
Over half a decade ago the country had been hit by the worst climate change characterised by low rainfall and drought. According to the report published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the country had poor rainy seasons in the previous years and that led to the displacement of millions of people, the killing of millions of livestock and the destruction of the livelihood of locals.
The report stated that “With five consecutive poor rainy seasons, the longest and most severe drought in Somalia’s recent history is devastating the country. The drought has displaced more than 1.4 million people and killed at least 3.5 million livestock, destroying livelihoods and reducing children’s access to milk.”
“Even though technical famine thresholds have not been reached, the situation is extremely alarming: prolonged and extreme conditions have resulted in higher-than-normal deaths and excess mortality will continue to accumulate unless assistance is further scaled up and sustained in crucial sectors,” it added.
People, livestock and farmlands were most affected by the disaster and according to reports, there is an “anticipated” reduction in humanitarian funds in the year 2023 which could affect the efforts of getting the needed assistance to the people of Somalia.
Mr Salah Jama, Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia, said that “The people of Somalia are paying the price for a climate emergency they did very little to create”
Amid a global reduction in humanitarian funds “The United Nations and humanitarian partners in Somalia together with Federal and State Governments released the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Somalia, which seeks US$2.6 billion to assist about 7.6 million people.” the report stated.
According to the UN, the country might experience greater famine this year if the funds are not made. “An estimated 8.25 million people, nearly half of the population, need immediate lifesaving humanitarian and protection assistance. Famine is a strong possibility from April to June and beyond if humanitarian assistance is not sustained and if the next rains underperform, as current forecasts indicate,” it stated.
According to the report, about half of the population in Somalia are on the brink of famine and the risk of rising cases of infectious diseases like cholera and measles.
“In the midst of anticipated reduction in funding for humanitarian assistance, 8.3 million people will likely experience high levels of acute food insecurity between April and June, including more than 727,000 who are likely to face catastrophic conditions. About 8 million people lack access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene services.
Reported cholera and measles cases have surged compared to recent years, and acute malnutrition has increased. Conflict and insecurity continue to drive needs and hinder humanitarian access.” the report states.
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