Somalia’s government appealed for an urgent humanitarian aid to help hundreds of thousands of people affected by droughts exacerbated by El Nino storm.
The United Nations Office for humanitarian coordination said that the drought which largely hit Puntland and Somaliland compounded an already challenging humanitarian situation, affecting an estimated number of 385,000 people who face acute food insecurity.
A further 1.3 million people risk slipping into acute food insecurity if they do not receive assistance, OCHA said in a report issued on Wednesday.
In a statement issued after a cabinet meeting Thursday, Somali government said the appeal was issued to avert a possible natural disaster from the drought in the horn of Africa nation.
The urgent humanitarian appeal comes at a time humanitarian aid agencies continue to scale up responses to assist drought victims in Somalia where the United Nations warned that a further 1.3 million people are risk of slipping into acute food insecurity if they do not receive assistance.
This brings the total number of people in need of some form of humanitarian assistance and livelihood support to 1.7 million, or nearly 40 per cent of the 4.6 million people living in Puntland and Somaliland, according to OCHA.
The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund is expected to release US$11 million to provide urgent humanitarian assistance for 224,000 drought affected people in the northern parts of Somalia..
Meanwhile, the impact of the drought in the north is already being felt in southern and central regions with concerns on the rapid deterioration of the water situation in Belet Weyne town and Middle Shabelle region are being raised due to the rapid reduction of water levels of Shabelle river which reached its lowest level in decades.