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2.7 million people in Somalia at risk of “crisis level” of food insecurity due to poor rainfall
Africa

2.7 million people in Somalia at risk of “crisis level” of food insecurity due to poor rainfall

Approximately 2.7 million people in Somalia are at risk of “crisis level” food insecurity “or worse”, between April and June as forecasts predict due to the country's poor rainfall. The United Nations humanitarian office said on Friday the situation threatens to exacerbate the plight of tens of thousands of Somalis displaced from their homes and villages due to “extreme” water shortages since last November. Jens Laerke, the spokesperson for the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that pre-drought conditions have already been reported in parts of the country after the poor seasonal rains late last year. “The loss of rain-fed pasture is threatening the survival of livestock which is the foundation of many Somalis’ livelihoods. Displaced people have told [us] that they are moving in search of water and pasture for their animals”, he added. “That is an increase of more than 65 per cent compared to current levels. Water shortages will also increase the risk of disease outbreaks.” The U.N. estimates that in 2021, some 5.9 million people across Somalia – including 15 per cent women and 66 per cent children – are expected to require humanitarian support. The agency and humanitarian partners have appealed for about $1.09 billion to go towards providing life-saving assistance to 4 million vulnerable people through the year, but only 2.5 percent of that amount has been secured so far.