UN says over 3.5 million people face food crisis in Somalia

Somalia flag
Somalia flag

About 3.5 million people are expected to face an acute food insecurity crisis in Somalia through the end of 2021 due to lack of humanitarian assistance, says a United Nations-backed food security report released in Mogadishu on Thursday.

The joint assessment by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia (FSNAU), a project managed by UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) said the key drivers of acute food insecurity in Somalia include the combined effects of poor and erratic rainfall distribution, flooding and conflict.

The report says about 1.2 million children under the age of five are likely to be acutely malnourished, including nearly 213,400 who are likely to be severely malnourished.

“It is likely that sustained, large-scale humanitarian food assistance and government support since January 2021 have mitigated the magnitude and severity of food insecurity,” FSNAU said.

Despite minimal damage in early to mid-2021, the report says, Desert Locust will continue to pose a serious risk to both pasture availability and crop production across Somalia.

Forecasts indicate an increased likelihood of below-average rainfall during the 2021 Deyr (October-December) season across most of the country, which would adversely affect food security and nutrition outcomes. FSNAU said the cumulative rainfall was below the 40-year average across much of the country, especially in central and southern Somalia.

“Without sustained humanitarian food assistance, 3.5 million people across Somalia are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes between October and December 2021. An additional 3.7 million people are expected to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2), bringing the total number of people facing acute food insecurity to 7.2 million,” FSNAU warned. Enditem

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