Over 6m people facing humanitarian crisis in Somalia, UN report

A recent report backed by the United Nations (UN) has revealed that at least 6.6 million people in Somalia need urgent humanitarian assistance despite some parts of the country experiencing rainfall.

The UN-backed report, released on Tuesday, noted that acute food insecurity levels remain high in Somalia through at least June, with 39 percent of the entire population requiring immediate humanitarian assistance, despite a decline in the risk of famine over the same period.

According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), which is an analysis by UN agencies and other partners, the sharply rising food prices since mid-2021 have been one of the significant reasons for the worsening acute food insecurity in most parts of Somalia.

The report indicates that the previously estimated total burden of acute malnutrition among children under the age of five remains valid, with approximately 1.8 million children expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in Somalia between January to December 2023, including 477,700 who are projected to experience severe malnutrition.

The report emphasizes the urgent need for additional coordinated funding to prevent the worsening of food insecurity and nutrition outcomes for Somalia’s already vulnerable population.

This funding must go towards scaling up and sustaining multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance that includes food security, nutrition, health, and WASH interventions through at least June 2023 and likely through late 2023.

The report notes that the lack of adequate funding at this critical juncture would have dire consequences for vulnerable communities, especially given the prevailing socio-economic challenges and the health infrastructure’s inadequate capacity.

In light of the report’s findings, the UN and other development partners are expected to work closely with the Somali government to mobilize support for the affected population, particularly heightened interventions to alleviate hunger, malnutrition, and related health problems.

The ultimate goal is to increase socio-economic resilience and stability in Somalia, as well as sustain progress toward recovery, peacebuilding, and development in the country.

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