Envoy cites drought affects 2.3M people in Somalia
By Anjali Sharma
UNITED NATIONS -- UN Deputy Special Representative to Somalia Adam Abdelmoula said 2.3 million people suffering with serious water, food and pasture shortages in Somalia, a growing worsening drought could lead to an “extreme situation” by April next year.
UN and the Somali Government warned that climate projections showed that the country is facing a fourth consecutive failed rainfall season.
UN in a joint statement said it is imperative to act now to prevent a slide into the kind of drought and even famine conditions experienced in previous years.
Over 100,000 people in central and southern areas have abandoned their homes in search of food, water and pasture for their livestock.
The lack of access to safe water and sanitation has heightened the risk of water-borne diseases.
UN reported that the number of people who need assistance and protection is forecast to rise by 30 per cent, from 5.9 million to about 7.7 million in 2022. Over 70 per cent of all Somalis live below the poverty line.
Mr. Adam Abdelmoula, said that “a severe storm is brewing in Somalia.”
He said that those affected have endured decades of conflict, climatic shocks and disease outbreaks, who work as Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.
He noted local communities, the authorities and the UN are addressing these needs. But critical response sectors like water, sanitation and hygiene are only 20 per cent funded.
2021 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan is only 66 per cent funded, he stressed.
UN Central Emergency Response Fund is allocating $8 million and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund is making a reserve allocation of $6 million.
Somalia is on the frontline of climate change and has experienced more than 30 climate-related hazards since 1990, including 12 droughts and 19 floods.
The frequency and severity of climate-related hazards is also increasing.
Federal Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Khadija Diriye, said that families are losing their livestock, a key source of livelihood, and may starve to death in the coming months.
“I am particularly worried about children, women, the elderly and disabled people who continue to bear the brunt of Somalia’s humanitarian crisis”, she said.