UN says 7.7mn in need of humanitarian aid in Somalia

The overall number of people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in Somalia has risen to 7.7 million from 5.9 million in 2021, the UN relief agency said.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Tuesday that the escalating drought, which has ravaged several parts of Somalia due to failed rains, has devastated many lives in Somalia, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The number of affected people is steadily rising, and displaced families are approaching life-threatening levels of need,” OCHA added in its latest report on humanitarian fund allocation.

According to the UN, the severe drought is compounding severe vulnerabilities and humanitarian needs caused by decades of protracted conflict and insecurity, climate shocks and disease outbreaks.

OCHA said the $25 million standard allocation will provide immediate support to communities critically affected by the drought in key hotspot locations, particularly in underserved and hard to reach areas.

It added that the allocation comes at a time when the recurring shocks have deepened poverty levels, compounded pre-existing vulnerabilities and stripped communities of their livelihoods.

“Among the first sources of funding this year, this allocation will likely catalyse additional resources and early action to those most affected by the drought,” OCHA said.

It added that the allocation will allow response in rural areas mitigating further drought-induced displacements.

The UN says thousands of children have dropped out of school as parents can no longer afford to pay fees, adding that food insecurity is increasing and malnutrition is high in drought-affected areas.

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