The United Nations warned that “Millions of Somalis are at risk of sliding into famine as the impact of a prolonged drought continues to destroy lives and livelihoods”.
Four UN agencies have warned that “6 million Somalis, or nearly 40 percent of the population, are facing extreme levels of food insecurity. In addition, famine conditions are likely in six areas of the country), said Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the UN Secretary-General.
The four agencies are the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme.
“This is nearly a two-fold increase in the number of people facing extreme levels of acute food insecurity due to the drought and other shocks since the start of the year, he said,” Dujarric added.
In a joint statement earlier, the four UN agencies called on international donors to “immediately inject funds to enable an increase in life-saving assistance in Somalia”.
The statement clarified that there are “three factors contributing to the outbreak of famine in Somalia during the next three months, namely the absence of rain during the rainy season between April and June 2022, the absence of sufficient humanitarian assistance, and the continued rise in food prices.”
The statement warned that such conditions are “capable of leading Somalia to famine.”
The United Nations had announced last Friday that it was seeking from international donors $1.5 billion to cover its humanitarian plan this year in favor of Somalia, but until April 7, it had received only 4 percent of the value of the requested amount.