The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said on Tuesday that efforts aimed at creating the humanitarian relief in Somalia must be drastically strengthened to prevent approaching famine in the country.
According to the FAO, the recent historic drought, heavy rains and surging food prices seriously have undermined the country’s agricultural sector and placed it “on the brink of famine.”
“The situation in Somalia remains dire… still there is an unrelenting focus on famine declarations as a trigger for action. Real action needs to be taken not only to help communities meet their immediate needs, but also so they can adapt their livelihoods and build resilience in the face of climate crises and economic shocks, preparing them for whatever the future may bring,” FAO Representative in Somalia Etienne Peterschmitt said.
The FAO also noted that around 730,000 people may die of starvation by June 2023, while additional 2.7 million will experience enormous food insecurity.
The organization specified that severe weather conditions had significantly damaged rural communities in Somalia and made them especially vulnerable in the context of approaching challenges, urging to provide more assistance.
“Preliminary findings from an upcoming study in the Horn of Africa indicate that keeping livestock fed reduced the risk of acute malnutrition by up to 11% and of child stunting by up to 8% in pastoralist communities. Providing this assistance is relatively cheap, averaging at about $0.40 per goat compared with $40 to replace the goat,” the FAO said.
From May-December, the FAO distributed $24 million among over 700,000 people, provided seeds to 40,000 and helped to care for 11 million animals. Next year, the organization will try to reach over one million people, however, currently it has only 70% of funds necessary for the plans.