“Starvation is now haunting the entire country."
Drought, conflict and rising commodity prices have created a hunger crisis for 22 million people across the Horn of Africa, but the situation is especially dire in Somalia.
“Starvation is now haunting the entire country. We are seeing more and more families forced to leave everything behind because there is literally no water or food left in their villages. Aid funding urgently needs to be ramped up before it is too late,” said Mohamed Abdi, Director of UNHCR's partner organisation, Norwegian Refugee Council, in Somalia.
Shalle Hassan Abdirahman was forced to flee his home in Somalia because of the drought. When the river dried up, he was no longer able to grow his maize, tomatoes and sesame. With no way to grow food or earn a living, Shalle fled with his family and found shelter at UNHCR’s Dollo Ado reception centre in eastern Ethiopia.
“There was a time when we would cultivate the farms. The river would rise, and it would flow and we survived,” said Shalle.
Somalis are also fleeing the violence and extortion of militant group Al-Shabab.
“Everyone is affected. Drought is in the land and people are afraid that with Al-Shabab, they will be killed.”
The number of people facing crisis hunger levels in Somalia is expected to rise from some five million to more than seven million in the coming months, exacerbated by the effects of climate change, and rising food prices because of the conflict in Ukraine.
“Vulnerable communities are the hardest hit by the effects of the climate crisis, leaving many families unprotected and increasing displacement,” said UNHCR’s Representative in Somalia, Magatte Guisse.
With your support, UNHCR is providing emergency shelter, relief items, and cash assistance to help displaced families buy food and other essentials. In Somalia alone, UNHCR and its inter-agency partners have provided 101,800 core relief items (blankets, hygiene kits, kitchen sets, sleeping mats), 55,423 cash assistance payments, and 32,790 emergency shelters.
However, with the rains expected to fail for yet another season, more support is urgently needed.
“The Somalia situation was already one of the most underfunded before this latest crisis. While we and humanitarian partners are doing what we can to respond, we simply have insufficient resources. The international community must step up to save lives and support this humanitarian response,” said Guisse.
UNHCR is appealing for life-saving aid for millions affected by catastrophic Horn of Africa drought.
The Horn of Africa is experiencing a catastrophic drought, however, the situation is particularly dire in Somalia.
Devastating drought, rising prices and a funding shortfall are pushing refugees in the Horn of Africa closer to famine.
The majority of funds raised by Australia for UNHCR are directed to UNHCR’s emergency operations, providing the ready funds and resources to respond quickly and effectively in situations of crisis and disaster.