Millions remain at risk of famine in Somalia


WFP distributes food in Somalia. File photo by WFP

from SAAD MUSE in Mogadishu, Somalia
Somalia Bureau
MOGADISHU, (CAJ News) – MILLIONS of rural people continue to face unprecedented challenges to their food security despite humanitarian assistance preventing worse outcomes and staving off famine in parts of Somalia.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) thus is calling for transformative actions to sustainably improve food and water security, reduce people’s vulnerability to shocks and stresses while improving their adaptation to climate change.

Sustained humanitarian assistance is still required to reverse the trend.

The East African country has been on the brink of famine in recent months due to an unprecedented drought triggered by five consecutive poor rainy seasons.

An anticipated sixth season, exacerbated by high food and water prices, conflict and poor access to water, sanitation and health services is a dire prospect.

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase (IPC) analysis shows that between January and March 2023, nearly 5 million people across Somalia are experiencing IPC Phase 3 ‘Crisis’ or worse levels of acute food insecurity.

This included 96 000 people facing catastrophic hunger (IPC Phase 5).

Acute hunger is expected to rise, with 6,5 million people– more than a third of the total population– projected to be facing ‘Crisis’ or worse (IPC Phase 3 or higher) levels of acute food insecurity between April and June this year.

FAO has received $183 million, accounting for 68 percent of required funds under FAO’s Somalia Famine Prevention Scale-up Plan (May 2022 – June 2023).

With these funds, the agency has reached over 1 million people or 47 percent of the targeted 2,4 million.

“FAO’s livelihoods assistance is saving lives and paving the way for faster recovery for many,” said Rein Paulsen, Director of the FAO Office of Emergencies and Resilience.

The envoy noted however, the protracted crisis now in its third year has exhausted the coping strategies of the most vulnerable, with families experiencing destitution, displacement, childhood malnutrition and loss of life.

In addition to climate change, Somalia is contending with the al-Shabaah terror group.

– CAJ News




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