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Somalia: Devastating Flash Floods Leave Children at Risk in Humanitarian Crisis

Somalia is reeling from the devastating impact of flash floods caused by heavy rainfall. These catastrophic floods have not only claimed the lives of 22 people but have also left the most vulnerable section of the population—the children—at increased risk of malnutrition and disease outbreaks. Save the Children, a prominent global charity has sounded the alarm on the dire situation unfolding in the country.

According to Save the Children’s latest report, the flash floods have resulted in the displacement of approximately 118,000 children and 101,000 adults, leaving them homeless and in urgent need of assistance. The combination of extreme weather events, ongoing conflict, and soaring food prices has plunged Somalia further into a deepening humanitarian crisis. Shockingly, an estimated 8.3 million people—nearly half of the population—are now dependent on humanitarian aid. Furthermore, over 1.4 million individuals have been internally displaced, with many forced to seek refuge in makeshift camps lacking basic resources.

Mohamud Mohamed Hassan, Save the Children’s Country Director for Somalia, expressed grave concern for the affected families who have been battered by successive crises. The recent floods, following a series of droughts and conflicts, have taken an immense toll on their lives. Hassan emphasized that even before the floods hit, children were on the verge of starvation due to the worst hunger crisis in four decades caused by consecutive failed rainy seasons.

The central Somalia town of Beledweyne in the Hiran region has been particularly devastated by heavy rainfall, resulting in the worst flooding witnessed in 30 years. The Shabelle River has burst its banks, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident, as Somalia has experienced a series of extreme weather events in recent years, with children and local communities bearing the brunt of the global climate crisis.

Save the Children is calling for urgent action and increased investment in climate change adaptation, including integrated water resources management and environmental regulations, to mitigate the adverse impacts of these climate-induced disasters. The organization also stresses the need for additional funds to provide critical healthcare services, food assistance, and support in assessing and repairing damaged infrastructure. Long-term strategies are essential to mitigate the impact of future floods and protect our vulnerable populations.

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