The UN’s Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula, made a passionate appeal for sustained support for the country’s most vulnerable on Wednesday, where climate shocks and protracted conflict have created one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.
In March, seasonal rains led to flooding, and the deaths of 21 people, displacing over 100,000. Due to high rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands, the Shabelle and Juba rivers could overflow, leading to flooded farmland, he warned.
However, rains in Somalia itself, are expected to underperform and are unlikely to be sufficient to improve the food security outlook for many.
Lifesaving protection and Aid
Nearly half of Somalia’s population – 8.25 million people – need lifesaving humanitarian and protection assistance. Of those, some 3.8 million are internally displaced.
Nearly five million people are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity. Around 1.8 million children are severely malnourished, and eight million people lack access to adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene. Two-thirds of all people in drought-affected areas have no access to essential healthcare.
The crisis is exacerbated by conflict and insecurity. At least 660,000 people live in areas controlled by non-State armed actors and largely out of the reach of humanitarian assistance.
Real risk of complacency’
Generous donor support scaled up humanitarian assistance and better than expected seasonal rains have averted famine for now. Still, 43,000 deaths over the anticipated mortality rate occurred due to drought-related causes in 2022. This year, the Humanitarian Response Plan requires $2.6 billion to assist 7.6 million people but is only 13 per cent funded as of today.