Nine hundred thousand Somalis face food crisis

Monday, July 4, 2005

Flooding in Somalia during 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
Flooding in Somalia during 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake

According to a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 500,000 Somalians are directly affected by a drought, around 400,000 are internally displaced, and an additional 12,000 Somalians had been affected by seasonal flooding in the central regions of Hiraan and Middle Shabelle as well as in the self-declared northwestern republic of Somaliland.

"Overall, the extended effects of four years of drought, which adversely impacted livelihoods and coping mechanisms, combined with chronic food insecurity, and more recently flooding has exacerbated the suffering of Somalis," said the report.

Malnourished child in Hargeysa, Somalia in April.

OCHA estimates that around 44,000 people were directly affected by the tsunami, and many still need urgent humanitarian assistance, the agency said. An estimated figure released by OCHA stated that $162,266,738 would be needed to be raised to target an estimated 900,000 vulnerable people. As of June 10, donors had funded approximately 39 percent of this appeal.

The December Indian Ocean Tsunami devastated the northeastern Somali coastline, further worsening the humanitarian situation now seen in Somalia. Good seasonal rains in Somalia which have ended a four-year drought have done little to help the estimated 900,000 Somalians in need of humanitarian aid.