On Tuesday, the U.N. humanitarian director forecasted that Somalia would urgently require at least $1 billion to prevent famine in the coming months and at the start of next year, when two more dry seasons are anticipated to exacerbate the country’s catastrophic drought.
In a video briefing from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Martin Griffiths stated that a famine will occur in Somalia between October and December “if we don’t manage to stave it off and avoid it as had been the case in 2016 and 2017.”
In addition to the roughly $1.4 billion U.N. appeal, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs told U.N. correspondents that more than $1 billion in new funding are required. He noted that the U.S. Agency for International Development’s announcement of a $476 million humanitarian and development aid grant in July contributed to the appeal’s “extremely well-funded” status.
In a report released on Monday, the USAID-founded Famine Early Warning Systems Network predicted that famine would break out later this year in three parts of Somalia’s southeast Bay region, including Baidoa, in the absence of immediate humanitarian relief.
According to a recent analysis by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, or IPC, which is used by the network to describe the severity of food insecurity, up to 7.1 million people throughout Somalia require urgent assistance to treat and prevent acute malnutrition, the number of ongoing hunger-related deaths.
For the first time in more than 50 years, the Horn of Africa region has experienced four consecutive dry seasons, putting the lives of an estimated 20 million people at peril in one of the world’s poorest and most unstable regions.
Griffiths stated that a fifth unsuccessful rainy season from October to December is possible, and a sixth unsuccessful rainy season from January to March of the following year is also possible.
He declared, “This has never occurred in Somalia.” “This is unheard of.”
According to Griffiths, “We’ve been beating the drum and shaking the trees trying to gain help worldwide in terms of attention, prospects, and the horror of hunger coming to the Horn of Africa — here in Somalia may be first, but Ethiopia and Kenya, presumably they’re not far behind.”
He claimed up to 5.3 million Somalis are currently receiving food from the U.N. World Food Program, which is “a lot, but it’s going to get worse if famine arrives.” He said that 98% of aid is distributed through telephone cash transfers.
However, many people still need assistance, and hungry families in Somalia have been stumbling through dry terrain for days or weeks in quest of aid.
According to Griffiths, getting aid to people before they leave their homes is a significant challenge in preventing widespread eviction.
He claimed that three million animals have perished or been butchered due to the lack of rain, even though many Somalis maintain livestock, which is essential to their subsistence.
“A generation’s way of life is in peril,” Griffiths warned of the ongoing drought and rainy season failures.
According to him, the international community must assist Somalis in finding alternate means of subsistence, which would necessitate support for both development and efforts to lessen the effects of climate change.
According to British ambassador Griffiths, Ukraine’s conflict has impacted humanitarian help, with global U.N. applications for aid typically only obtaining 30% of the funding required.
“To those nations, including my own, that have a history of being exceedingly kind, “they added. “Don’t forget about Somalia, please. In the past, you didn’t. In the past, you made excellent contributions. Do it now, please.”