5 million Somalis food insecure: humanitarian agencies

Another 1.1 million facing acute food security crisis

5 million Somalis food insecure: humanitarian agencies

World Bulletin / News Desk

Five million Somalis -- 40% of the country's population -- are food insecure with 1.1 million people facing acute food security crisis, according to the United Nations and the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) on Tuesday.

 Speaking to the media in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative in Somalia, Richard Trenchard said that things would worsen even more in the Horn of Africa country in the upcoming season, with low rainfall expected from October through December.

 "5 million people are facing hunger. A million of them are in crisis and emergency. That is a terrible situation and it is 20 percent worse than it was just six months ago. Malnutrition too has worsened in most of the areas that were surveyed," he said.

 Trenchard added that according to the data originally released by FAO, FSNAU and Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) the situation today could have been so much worse if humanitarian partners and governments had not launched substantial responses to the terrible drought that hit vast areas of Somalia’s north late last year into this year.

 "The assistance wasn’t enough. The simple truth is that today in Somalia, the weight of climate variability and conflict and displacement is greater than the counter weight of people’s resilience. This is why the food, security and nutrition situation is not getting any better.”

 The number of people who are food insecure includes 300,000 children who are acutely malnourished and 50,000 who are severely malnourished.

 Abdirizak Nur from FEWSNET said that nearly 3.9 million people are in need of livelihood support and called on international aid donors to step in to alleviate the situation.

 "About 427,000 of the 1.1 million are rural households, pastoralists and agro-pastoralists. Of the total number, over 2.5 million are dependent on livestock. Every single farmer in Somalia has been affected in the last 25 years."

 Nur added that Kenya’s decision to close down the Dadaab refugee camp and send back home over 320,000 Somali refugees would further worsen the state of food security causing hundreds of thousands to face starvation.

 "Nearly 60 percent of the 1.1 million who need urgent humanitarian assistance are internally displaced persons. The imminent closure of Dadaab will mean these numbers will possibly grow," he said, adding an increased number of refugees flowing back into the country would exacerbate the situation.

United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Peter De Clercq for his part said that urgent action was required to address humanitarian needs and help people already struggling to find enough food to make it through the day.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Eylül 2016, 10:33