In order to meet the emergency needs of over a million Somalis affected by drought, IOM in Somalia is scaling up life-saving interventions throughout the country and appealing to international donors for funding.
Humanitarian agencies report worrying similarities to the 2011 famine in Somalia, in which over a quarter of a million people lost their lives.
A massive increase in humanitarian assistance is urgently needed to avert a famine in some of the worst drought-affected areas of the country. Wages are collapsing, local food prices are rising, animal deaths are increasing, malnutrition rates are starting to rise, water prices are spiralling and Somalis are moving in growing numbers in search of food and water. Without assistance, many people face malnutrition, significantly increased risk of disease, loss of livelihoods and even death.
“We named this (2017) drought ‘Odi Kawayn,’ which is Somali for ‘something bigger than the elders.’ None of our elders has ever seen a drought as severe as this one,” said drought victim Halima.
Humanitarian agencies estimate that there are 6.2 million drought-affected Somalis in need of assistance, including food, water and sanitation, health and nutrition, protection and shelter. In order to address as many gaps in response as possible, humanitarian partners are rolling out a robust operational plan to reach as many Somalis as possible with lifesaving emergency support.
President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo has acknowledged the devastation of the drought and urged all stakeholders to “respond more effectively” to the famine threat.