Mogadishu: A historic fourth consecutive failed rainy season, skyrocketing prices and an underfunded humanitarian response have resulted in a 160 percent increase in people facing catastrophic levels of food insecurity, starvation and disease in Somalia, according to a new report.
A new report from the Famine Early Warning Network and the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, based on a rapid assessment by multiple United Nations agencies, shows that 7.1 million Somalis (close to 50 percent of the population) now face crisis-level food insecurity or worse through at least September 2022.
Of those, 213,000 people face catastrophic hunger and starvation, a drastic increase from the 81,000 forecast in April.
More areas are at risk of famine, particularly in the south of the country in regions where insecurity and conflict makes humanitarian access more challenging
These figures reflect a food security situation that is expected to deteriorate rapidly over the coming months.
United Nations agencies and partners are now focusing their limited resources on famine prevention to protect the country’s most vulnerable, as meteorological organizations warn that another below-average rainy season could follow later in the year.
"We are staring at a potential calamity; failure to act now will be tragic for scores of families in Somalia," said Adam Abdelmoula, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, in a press release on Monday.
"Somalia is in danger of entering an unprecedented fifth consecutive failed rainy season, meaning hundreds of thousands of people face the risk of famine. Famine cost the lives of 260,000 Somalis in 2010-2011.This cannot be allowed to happen again in 2022. It is urgent that more is done to avert this risk and done now," he said.
Collectively, humanitarian agencies have reached 2.8 million people between January and April 2022 with lifesaving and livelihood assistance through drought assistance and famine prevention programmes, but the new assessment clearly indicates that the scale of assistance currently being delivered and funding from the international community is not yet sufficient to protect those most at risk.
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