UN humanitarians said on Monday that heavy rains and fatal flooding since early October have impacted 1.7 million people in Somalia, 500,000 of them in the past week alone.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said flooding in the last six weeks killed at least 41 people, including 12 children, and displaced more than 640,000 people.
The office said that roads, bridges and airstrips have been damaged in many parts of the country, hampering the movement of people and supplies and increasing prices of basic commodities. Suspected cases of acute watery diarrhea and cholera are rising and are expected to increase further.
“Our humanitarian partners, the authorities and local communities have stepped up assistance to affected people,” OCHA said. “More than 740,000 people have received life-saving assistance since October.”
The office said that despite the rapidly growing needs, the United Nations is cash-strained for a response. With only six weeks remaining in the year, the UN humanitarian response plan for Somalia for 2023 is only 40 percent funded.
The annual rains hitting Somalia are reported to be the worst in decades.