More than 755,000 people have been internally displaced in Somalia because of severe drought this year, bringing the total to one million since January when the drought began, according to new figures released by UNHCR and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
“Here the one million milestone serves as a big alarm bell for Somalia‘ said Mohamed Abdi, NRC Country Director for Somalia.
Somalia is experiencing a historic two-year drought, the likes of which has not been seen in more than 40 years.
And a failed Thursday rainy season is expected to inevitably cause many more families to be displaced, as hunger rages on the horizon, UNHCR said.
Death: ‘A matter of time’
The United Nations agency spoke to Hussein, an elderly father of eight who left his village after a drought devastated their crops and livestock, who recently moved with his family to a camp for those who have to be relocated.
“Those who are left behind, they don’t stand a chance,” he said. “It’s only a matter of time until they die. Even here we can die because we have nothing.”
The number of people facing the famine crisis in Somalia is expected to increase from around five million to more than seven million in the coming months – exacerbated by the effects of climate change, and by soaring food prices caused by the conflict in Ukraine.
In terms of climate vulnerability, Somalia is ranked second globally, based on 2019 data, according to the University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Initiative ratings.
UNHCR Representative in Somalia, Magatte Guisse said: “Vulnerable communities are the hardest hit by the climate crisis, leaving many families unprotected and increasingly displaced. .
The Gu rainy season in 2022, from March to June, ends early in May, with lower rainfall recorded and little or no rain in June.
The northern regions record 30 to 60 percent of the average rainfall, while the central and southern regions receive 45 to 75 percent – tick The rainy season failed for the fourth time in a row since the end of 2020.
‘Step up to save lives’
The UNHCR official noted that even before this latest crisis, “the Somali situation was already one of the most undercapitalized”.
“While we and our humanitarian partners are doing what we can to respond, We simply don’t have enough resources, “I said. “The international community must act to save lives and support this humanitarian response.”
In June, UNHCR announced that it needed $9.5 million for Somalia, as part of the regional call for the Horn of Africato help displaced communities impacted by the catastrophic drought.