UN to release $11 million to avert drought crisis in northern Somalia – INO


The UN emergency fund will release $11 million to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to over 200,000 Somalis affected by drought in northern parts of Somalia.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA said Wednesday the funds will help partner agencies to reinforce provision of critical life-saving assistance in Puntland and Somaliland.

“This will include food and nutrition assistance, livestock vaccination, health care services, water and sanitation,” OCHA said.

Nearly 40% of Somalis or about 4.7 million people are facing alarming food insecurity and malnutrition. The UN estimates nearly 950,000 of these people are acute food insecure and struggle everyday to meet their basic needs.

Cases of death over starvation and lack of water have been reported in the Middle Shabelle regions.

According to OCHA, the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) for Somalia has allocated 6.5 million dollars to scale up response in the drought-affected regions to compliment the Central Emergency Response Fund, CERF allocation.

The situation especially in Central regions, Middle and Lower Shabelle has been exacerbated by the drying up of River Shabelle which has been a lifeline to thousands of families living along the river stretch.

Reports that extensive dam construction for irrigation and hydro-power in southern Ethiopia have raised concerns that the river will eventually dry up putting many Somalis at risk.

Foreign Affairs Minister Omer Abdusalam has told Goobjoog News the government was investigating the matter to establish if the drying up of the river was a result of the ongoing drought or any other reason.