A humanitarian organization based in the United Kingdom, Islamic Relief, has revealed in its latest report that Somalia is facing an unprecedented displacement crisis.
The report, released on Wednesday, highlights that a staggering quarter of the country’s population, amounting to over 4.3 million people, are internally displaced within Somalia. This figure marks the highest ever recorded in the country, which has a total population of approximately 17 million.
The dire situation in Somalia can be attributed to a combination of drought and conflict. The report underscores that the devastating drought has not only claimed the lives of people and livestock but has also decimated crops, resulting in skyrocketing food prices. Consequently, numerous individuals have been forced into a state of destitution.
Farhan Abdirizak Adan, an Islamic Relief project officer operating in Baidoa, one of the hardest-hit cities in the Horn of Africa nation, vividly describes the plight of the people he encounters. He notes that he frequently sees women in the camps wearing white headscarves, symbolizing the loss of their husbands due to war or hunger.
Adan further laments that the situation in Baidoa is beyond comprehension, with an influx of people arriving daily seeking aid. However, the resources available are woefully inadequate, resulting in weeks-long waits for food distribution.
Tragically, lives are lost to hunger during this agonizing period. Adan emphasizes that without sufficient aid, the death toll from starvation would be even higher. Regrettably, humanitarian agencies are grappling with limited funds, leaving them unable to assist all those in need.
Adding to the grave situation, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has issued a statement warning of the potential impact of El Nino in Somalia.
The FAO predicts that as of October, 1.2 million people could be affected, and 1.5 million hectares (3.7 million acres) of land may be inundated.
El Nino refers to an abnormal warming of the ocean surface, resulting in above-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. Riverine communities in Somalia are deemed the most vulnerable, with an estimated 1.5 million hectares (3.7 million acres) of land at risk of flooding.
The FAO stresses the urgency of immediate action to protect lives and livelihoods in the country. It insists that swift intervention is necessary to avert a large-scale humanitarian disaster.
Somalia, already one of the worst-affected nations in the region, is grappling with a dire drought situation, leaving a staggering 8.25 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
The international community must respond to this crisis with utmost urgency, providing the necessary resources and support to alleviate the suffering of the Somali people.