Somalia appeals for funding to help 2.7 million people facing acute food insecurity

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Somalia on Monday appealed for the international community to provide sufficient and timely funding to help 2.7 million people facing food insecurity amid a severe drought in the country.

Khadija Mohamed Diriye, minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, said the impact of the flooding, desert locust and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are again pushing up to 2.7 million people across the country towards a major humanitarian crisis.

“The food insecurity situation is already extremely concerning and unless aid providers can immediately scale up aid operations in some pre-drought-hit areas, it will leave disastrous consequences for the millions of our people,” Diriye said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

The humanitarian situation in Somalia worsened in 2020 compounded by the triple threat of floods, COVID-19 and desert locusts.

Drought conditions are predicted due to the likely below-average rainfall associated with La Nina, and the country will have to handle the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

Diriye said the Gu (heavy) rain season which usually starts in April is projected to be poor and below average and even very low in some areas, while water and food shortage continues to exacerbate the already existing fragilities.

“I call on the international community, private sectors and civil society organizations to continue providing sufficient humanitarian funding to save lives and respond to the emerging signs of drought in the country,” she added.

The minister said in addition to the compounding effects of poor and erratic rainfall distribution in 2020 and the projected poor performance of the 2021 Gu’ (April-June) rains already shows signs of severe pre-drought conditions across the country, pushing millions of people into acute food insecurity, with dire consequences for marginalized and displaced communities.

Diriye said the government is also mobilizing resources within its reach to provide emergency relief supplies and lauded aid agencies for prioritizing saving lives and ending need through community resilience-building.

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