1 in 4 Somalis face hunger due to hostile weather, conflicts: Aid groups
One in four Somalis, or 4.3 million people, face hunger and need urgent assistance due to hostile weather events and other conflicts, the UN and other humanitarian groups operating in the Horn of Africa country said on Monday, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
In a statement, the aid groups, including World Food Programme, said 1.5 million children also face acute malnutrition between October and December despite the positive impact of the 2023 rains and sustained humanitarian assistance.
From 3.7 million between August to September 2023, the number of people facing the crisis will likely reach 4.3 million between October to December 2023 due to a combination of factors, including the adverse impacts of El Nino-related heavy rains and flooding and anticipated decline in the level of humanitarian assistance in the coming months because of funding constraints, according to the statement.
Somalia has pulled back from the brink of starvation, showing the impact of humanitarian assistance and rains, the World Food Programme (WFP) Somalia office said in the statement. “But 4.3 million people, 1/4 of the population, are still trapped in protracted crisis-level hunger or worse – putting lives at risk. More support is urgently needed,” it said.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) late last month warned that the anticipated El Nino could affect 1.2 million people in Somalia from October.
The term El Nino refers to a warming of the ocean surface, or above-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
It stated that riverine communities in Somalia are the most vulnerable, with an estimated 1.5 million hectares (3.7 million acres) of land at risk of flooding.
Somalia is one of the worst-affected countries in the region by draught, with 8.25 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.