By Riches Soberekon
The United Nations has alerted that a staggering 4.3 million people, equivalent to a quarter of Somalia’s population, are at risk of starvation by the end of the year.
The Horn of Africa nation, already grappling with extreme poverty, is now ravaged by deadly floods, exacerbating the plight of its citizens.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has revealed that the floods have dealt a severe blow to communities already reeling from the worst drought in decades, pushing millions to the brink of starvation.
While humanitarian aid has prevented a full-scale famine for now, Somalia is facing its highest levels of malnutrition in over ten years, according to the WFP.
Tragically, due to insufficient funding, the UN agency can only provide food assistance to less than half of those most in need.
WFP emphasized that support from the international humanitarian community remains a lifeline for the 4.3 million people projected to experience crisis, food insecurity or worse by year-end.
The devastating floods have wreaked havoc across Somalia, resulting in the loss of at least 31 lives and displacing approximately 500,000 individuals from their homes, as per an official report released on Sunday.
Since the start of November, incessant rainfall, attributed to the El Niño weather phenomenon, has submerged homes and farmlands. Besides Somalia, neighboring countries like Ethiopia and Kenya have also endured the wrath of El Niño, leading to casualties and widespread destruction.
With the majority of Somalia’s 17 million inhabitants dependent on livestock and agriculture, the country stands as one of the most vulnerable to climate change.
The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events have intensified, leaving its already impoverished population grappling with the compounded challenges of climate change and conflict.
In addition to natural disasters, Somalia remains plagued by a violent insurgency waged by Islamist fighters affiliated with al-Qaeda. These militants have sown unrest and violence for more than fifteen years, further exacerbating the country’s dire situation.
The international community must rally together to provide urgent assistance to Somalia, ensuring that vital resources reach those in desperate need.
Time is of the essence as millions of lives hang in the balance, and the world must respond swiftly to avert a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa nation.