UN: More than 4.5 million Somalis need humanitarian assistance

More than 4.5 million people in Somalia are suffering from a shortage of food due to a severe drought which hit the Horn of Africa nation in 2016 and 2017, the United Nations says.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said that 2.6 million of them are internally displaced people (IDPs), with 1.5 million of those needing urgent humanitarian assistance.

“4.6 million people in Somalia are still in need of assistance after the 2016-7 drought, and 2.6 million are now IDPs. Of those displaced, most are pastoralists, and many of them are the worst-off in terms of #hunger,” it said in a tweet.

“Without sustained assistance, Somalia risks sliding back. The current funding shortfall is not only hampering effective delivery of vital services and the restoration of health, nutrition, WASH and education facilities, but also efforts to assist Somalis getting on the path of recovery and building their resilience,” said Daniele Donati, FAO’s representative in the country.

On Sunday (September 2), the UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq, called on the international community to sustain assistance to Somalis affected by ongoing conflict, the drought as well as deadly floods and a cyclone that struck the country earlier this year.

Despite above-average performance of the rains in 2018, some 4.6 million people, including 2.5 million children, still require humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

In 2011, at least 260,000 Somalis died of hunger in the country, according to figures released two years later by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fews Net).

Farah Yussuf is a Digital Reporter with Star FM Kenya. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Masinde Muliro University.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *