Somalia is facing the risk of famine across six areas throughout June, Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for Secretary-General António Guterres, warned on Friday.
In his daily press briefing, Dujarric disclosed that the famine is hitting the African country: “If the rainy season from April to June fails as predicted, if food prices continue to rise and if humanitarian assistance is not scaled up to reach the most vulnerable populations.”
Dujarric added: “As of 7 April, the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan, which calls for nearly $1.5 billion to help 5.5 million men, women and children of the most vulnerable Somalis remained significantly underfunded, at just 4.4 per cent.”
He explained: “The drought is worsening across the country. An estimated 4.9 million people across Somalia have been impacted, including more than 719,000 internally displaced people.”
The United Nations (UN) official reiterated: “Acute food insecurity has increased significantly since the beginning of the year. The latest famine projections indicate that more than six million people are likely to face a crisis or worse food insecurity. Livestock deaths and disease outbreaks are widespread, and up to 80 per cent of the water sources in the country are drying up and the water levels of the Shabelle and Juba Rivers are below historic levels. An estimated 3.5 million people lack sufficient access to water.”
Hinting at a grim period, he added: “More than 1.4 million children under the age of five are expected to be acutely malnourished through this year, and that includes 330,000 children who are already severely malnourished.”
In January and February, nearly 200 humanitarian partners reached almost two million people with assistance and protection services, Dujarric shared.
He stressed that: “Humanitarian aid must be increased to prevent extreme food insecurity and malnutrition, including the risk of famine.”