WFP note that, despite unprecedented access to 3.7 million people in relief and over 300,000 on nutritional support, hunger is an imminent reality unless drastic action is taken. performed immediately. This is more than double the number of people supported by the agency in April, and WFP is aiming to reach 4.5 million in the coming months.
The most recent famine in Somalia, in 2011-12, killed more than a quarter of a million people – and while the scale of humanitarian assistance is much larger now than it was then, the scale of need is also larger. much; The country is suffering from a terrible drought, and is predicted to suffer a fifth consecutive rainy season failure.
Somalia is also reeling from conflict and instability, which is fueling hunger and limiting aid delivery to those who need it. These conditions are expected to last until at least March 2023.
Food prices in Somalia have increased sharply due to livestock deaths due to drought and poor crops; they went even higher after the crisis in Ukraine. In June, the average household’s cost of meeting basic food needs was at its highest level in five years.
Famine is now forecast in some Gulf counties of Somalia from October to December, unless resources can be secured to sustain and scale up humanitarian assistance.
WFP / Geneva Costopulos
‘Shocked to my core’
“I was shocked to the bone by the level of pain and suffering we see so many Somalis endure,” Martin Griffiths told journalists on Monday.
The secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, spoke from the capital Mogadishu after visiting some of the worst-affected areas. “Famine is on the threshold,” he said, “and today we receive the final warning.”
Mr Griffiths described Baidoa as “the epicenter of the humanitarian crisis” where children are so malnourished that they can barely speak, and said that in Banadir, not far from Mogadishu, medical teams are working struggling to keep up with the skinny kids. people seeking treatment.
Mr Griffiths recalls: “None of the children I saw at the stabilization center at Banadir hospital could smile. “Very few people can cry. And when we found out when we left, We were lucky enough to hear a baby cry, and we were told that when a child cries, there is a chance of survival. Children who don’t cry are the ones we need to worry about. “
The head of the United Nations aid agency warned that one and a half million children across Somalia were at risk of acute malnutrition by October. He called for humanitarian organizations to be reached immediately and safe for all in need, and more funding to deal with the crisis.