A devastating drought in Somalia, which began in January last year, forced one million people to move within the country, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Norwegian Refugee Council said on Thursday.
“More than 755,000 people have been internally displaced in Somalia because of the severe drought this year, bringing the total figure to one million people since January 2021 when the drought began,” the organizations said in a statement.
Somalia is going through a two-year period of severe drought, a situation not seen in more than 40 years, the UNHCR said, adding that many more people would be displaced due to famine in case an expected fifth rainy season fails to start.
“Starvation is now haunting the entire country. We are seeing more and more families forced to leave everything behind because there is literally no water or food left in their villages. Aid funding urgently needs to be ramped up before it is too late,” Mohamed Abdi, the Norwegian Refugee Council Director in Somalia said.
Somalia is about to witness the increase from some five million to more than seven million people facing severe famine in the near future, the agency said, adding that the effects of climate change and rising food prices due to the conflict in Ukraine would aggravate the crisis situation in the country.