Humanitarian leadership declares drought in Somalia

Somali families displaced by severe drought create a makeshift camp as the Horn of Africa faces severe drought on the outskirts of the village of War Idad, 150 miles east of the capital Hargeisa, Somalia, on June 19, 2017. (Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images)

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the Federal Government of Somalia are ‘deeply concerned’ about the deterioration of the dry conditions in Somalia which has now escalated to a drought situation.

This is based on observed drought conditions and rainfall forecasts. More than 80 per cent of the country is experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions.

WAR IDAD, SOMALIA – JUNE 19: Somali families displaced by severe drought create a makeshift camp as the Horn of Africa faces severe drought on the outskirts of the village of War Idad, 150 miles east of the capital Hargeisa, Somalia, on June 19, 2017. The UN and aid agencies have sought to raise resilience in pastoralist communities that have seen their lifeblood herds of camels, goats and sheep decimated by up to 80 percent, leaving 6.7 million people in need of assistance to avoid famine in Somalia and Somaliland. (Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images)

“Somalia experiences a cyclical pattern of drought every five to six years and the failure of the rains thus far spells disaster…….At a time when communities are already struggling to cope with the recent water shortages in many parts of the country, the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and already dire humanitarian situation in the country, many lives are at stake,” said Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Khadija Diriye.

Humanitarian Coordinator, Adam Abdelmoula has said; “we are at the brink of a human catastrophe amidst an already dire humanitarian situation. The cost of inaction is far too dire and the time to take action is now. Urgent and immediate collective action, including scaling-up of response and funding, is needed now to mitigate a full-scale disaster.”

Although the Gu rains started in some parts of the country, forecasts indicate the rains are below-average rainfall.

Limited rainfall is expected in May and June with larger parts of Somaliland, Puntland, central regions and Gedo region being the worst affected.

The Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) requires US$ 1.09 billion to assist four million people, including more than three million people in acute need.