Several lives might be lost and over a million people displaced if no action is taken to avert the effects of the worsening drought in Somalia, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Mogadishu has warned.
Currently, 245,000 Somalis have been displaced due to the drought, with the number projected to reach 1.4 million in 2022 as the situation worsens in several parts of the country.
The drought has currently affected about 3.2 million people in Somalia, about a fifth of the population, putting them at risk of water and food insecurity, malnutrition, rising commodity prices, crop and livestock losses, and safety risks, NRC has said.
“Humanitarian efforts are underway, but available resources are insufficient to meet increasing and urgent needs,” NRC said in a press statement Friday.
Several displaced Somalis arriving at a displacement camp in Kismayu, southern Somalia, say they have lost their livestock.
NRC also said their staff have reported increasing numbers of drought-related deaths, malnourished children, and people searching for aid.
“To avert the humanitarian disaster unfolding before our eyes, we are asking donor countries to provide the funding necessary to ensure lifesaving assistance for the millions of people affected by one of the worst droughts in the last decade,” said Mohammed Abdi, NRC’s Somalia country director.
The charity’s appeal comes after the United Kingdom’s Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford, last week announced that the UK will give Somalia $10.3 million to avert the effects of the drought.
More than 874,000 people are currently displaced in Somalia, with drought accounting for 28 percent. With the looming crisis, drought might become the leading cause of displacement in Somalia, after conflict and insecurity which currently account for 62 percent of displacements.