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UN: Humanitarian needs in Somalia to surge 30% next year

November 15, 2021 at 8:07 pm

A group of displaced children in Beledweyne, Somalia, on December 14, 2019 [LUIS TATO/AFP via Getty Images]

The number of people in Somalia in need of humanitarian assistance is set to rise by 30 per cent next year, from 5.9 million to 7.7 million, the UN warned today.

“Humanitarian needs remain high across all sectors in Somalia,” said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Twitter, pointing to “funding shortfalls” that continue to hinder critical lifesaving interventions despite ongoing alleviation efforts, Anadolu Agency reports.

Only 51 per cent of humanitarian relief planning received funding this year as of last Friday, 12 November, the agency added.

This came a day after the agency said that more than 3.5 million people in Somalia, or 60 per cent of the country’s population of 5.9 million, are in need of humanitarian assistance amid acute food insecurity due to drought.

The Horn of Africa nation “is experiencing its third consecutive below-average rainfall season since late 2020,” said a situation report by the agency, adding that the current conditions are expected to deteriorate further, particularly in the southern, central, and north-eastern parts of the country.

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“The widespread dry conditions have resulted in increased human suffering and livestock deaths, with severe drought impacts reported in Jubaland, Southwest, and Galmudug states (central regions) and parts of Puntland,” said the report.

The Dhobley area and Afmadow district located in the southern region Lower Juba, Gedo, as well as the South West state, are the worst-hit areas.

Communities in the area lost 80 per cent of their livestock due to widespread drought and extreme weather conditions, according to a previous UN statement.

More than half of the affected people have moved from their villages due to severe conditions to urban areas.

Conflict and displacement

At least 520,000 people have been forced to flee from their homes between January and October, including 100,000 temporarily displaced due to conflict in the central Galmudug state in October.

Somalia has one of the highest numbers of internally displaced people in the world, as 2.9 million remain displaced across the country.

On Wednesday, the Somali government made an urgent humanitarian appeal to the international community, seeking help to battle severe drought in most parts of the country.

Prime Minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, made a public call to residents and the international community, including aid agencies, to provide immediate assistance to those affected by the drought to prevent a repeat of a famine that hit the country in 2011 and resulted in the death of nearly 260,000 people, half of them children, and displaced millions of families.

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