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Severe drought risks famine in Somalia, UN warns

The UN migration agency on Monday warned that Somalia is facing the risk of famine due to severe drought.

In a statement on Twitter, the International Organization for Migration said the humanitarian partners operating in the Horn of Africa country reached 1.8 million drought-affected people with food and 173,400 with water in February.

“But 4.9 million are in need. Needs are outpacing the funding resources,” said the statement.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres late on Sunday said that the people of Somalia are facing the most severe drought in 40 years.

He said the agencies are running out of resources as their response plan has only been 4% funded.

“I urge the international community not to forget this crisis,” Guterres said on Twitter.

Almost 90% of Somalia has been affected by the drought creating an influx of displacements, especially in Bay and Bakool provinces in South West State.

As the drought continues to unfold, a few places in the country received light to moderate rains over the past day, indicating the possible start of the rainfall season, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“Field reports also indicate that there were moderate rains in parts of Bay and Bakool regions during the same period.

“It is worth noting that the foreseen rains in the coming week are not sufficient to alleviate the current drought conditions in the country, more rains with good temporal and spatial distribution are required during the season to improve the situation,” the OCHA said in a statement on Friday.

The rainfall forecast for this week shows rains will spread in the southern and central regions, while no rains are expected in the northern regions, it further said.

Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble had declared the drought a “humanitarian state of emergency” late last year.

 

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