The operational environment in Somalia in October continued to remain challenging amid a devastating drought in the Horn of African country, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Thursday, Anadolu News Agency reports.
The UN Agency said the security situation in the country continued to deteriorate with the escalation of armed conflict between terrorist group Al-Shabaab and the alliance of Somali security forces and local militias.
This armed conflict between the Somali national army, along with local militias, still ongoing in the country’s central provinces, has seen strategic towns and villages liberated from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group, Al-Shabaab.
The current drought has displaced more than a million people in 2022 alone, with famine looming over parts of south and central Somalia, according to the UNHCR.
The country is the most drought-affected nation in the region with more than 7 million – half of the country’s population – needing humanitarian assistance, while millions of others face severe hunger.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) also said, Thursday, that the greater Horn of Africa is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years, with some 46 million people facing acute hunger in the region.
“WHO has provided $8 million of essential medicines & equipment to the region. But the $81.5 million funding gap needs to be filled now to save lives,” the WHO said.
The Somali government called the current epic drought a “national humanitarian emergency”. The country is facing its fifth consecutive year of a failed rainy season.
According to the Somali Prime Minister’s office, the drought has killed more than 2 million head of livestock.