FAO has appealed since April last year, but the response has not been at the levels needed
More than three million animals essential to Somalia’s pastoral communities have died so far due to the drought
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) office in Somalia recently appealed for $131.4 million in funds to assist 882,000 drought-hit people with immediate lifesaving and livelihood support.
The FAO said its famine prevention efforts covering 55 of Somalia’s 90 districts were only 46 per cent funded and the 2022 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan was just 43 per cent funded, as of August 4, 2022.
Some 7.1 million Somalis are projected to face high acute food insecurity according to the IPC Phase 3 or above through at least September 2022.
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification provides strategically relevant information to decision makers that focuses on short-term objectives to prevent, mitigate or decrease severe food insecurity that threatens lives or livelihoods.
The 7.1 million include 2.1 million people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and 213,000 people in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). Rein Paulsen, director of the FAO Office of Emergencies and Resilience was quoted as saying: “We cannot wait for famine to be declared; we must act now to safeguard livelihoods and lives.”
A worsening drought is putting some areas in central and southern Somalia at an increased risk of famine through at least September 2022 if the current Gu season crop and livestock production fails, according to the IPC. Agriculture accounts for up to 60 per cent of Somalia’s gross domestic product.
More than three million animals essential to Somalia’s pastoral communities have died so far due to the drought. About 90 per cent of Somalia’s wheat imports came from Russia and Ukraine. Since the war broke out, the grain supply has been blocked and prices have exploded.
The continuing death of livestock, key commodity prices rising further and humanitarian assistance failing to reach the most vulnerable, have forced many people living mostly in rural areas, to move to displaced persons camps.
More than 450,000 people in Somalia have been forced to abandon their homes in search of food and water in the first 10 weeks of this year, a report showed. Women and children are most vulnerable, a paper by Save the Children, an international non-profit that works for welfare of children, noted.
The current drought situation will deteriorate further in Somalia with no significant rains foreseen until the next rainy season in October and La Nina predictions.
FAO has appealed since April last year, but the response has not been at the levels needed. FAO called for multi-sectoral responses to support livelihoods, but warned that more funding from donors needed to come in.
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