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Aid agencies urge help for 6.6 mln Somalis suffering food insecurity

Humanitarian agencies on Monday appealed to a donors meeting to be held in New York this week to swiftly address the grave humanitarian situation in Somalia where about 6.6 million people, nearly half of the population, are food insecure.

The aid agencies under the umbrella of the Somalia NGO Consortium said multiple factors, including a protracted climate-fueled drought, recurrent conflict, the negative socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the global rising food prices have all created and sustained a perfect storm of a humanitarian crisis in the country.

“Donors and the humanitarian community should not wait until a formal famine declaration is made to warrant meaningful action in the Horn of Africa when the lives of millions of people are already at risk,” the organizations said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

The agencies said the catastrophe was avoided in late 2022 by timely scaled-up humanitarian assistance, and multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance, supported by slightly more favorable than previously foreseen rainfall performance as well as the well-coordinated response by stakeholders.

Despite the improvements in the country’s humanitarian crisis, food insecurity in Somalia is far from over and is becoming more severe every day, the agencies warned, noting that more than 3 million people have been displaced consequently.

The statement comes as the international community is about to gather in New York Wednesday for the Horn of Africa high-level pledging conference.

According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report, 6.6 million people across Somalia are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity, with 1.8 million children suffering from severe malnutrition.

The country’s Ministry of Health recently announced that close to 43,000 deaths may have occurred in 2022 due to the impact of the prolonged drought, half of them children under five years of age.1


  1. Xinhua

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