(Xinhua) -- About 536,000 Somalis have
been displaced from their homes since November 2016 due to severe
drought ravaging parts of the Horn of Africa nation, the UN
humanitarian agency said on Friday.
The UN Office for
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said around 70,000
Somalis have arrived in Baidoa and around 72,000 in Mogadishu in
March alone, in search of food and water.
"The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate at an
alarming rate, with massive displacement and diseases continuing to
spread, causing extensive human suffering and deaths," OCHA said in
its drought situation report released in Mogadishu.
The UN agency said 52 percent of overall drought-induced
displacement (536,000) occurred in March.
The drought is also pushing people across borders, with at least
2,000 new arrivals reported in Dadaab refugee settlement in
northeast Kenya between December 1, 2016 and March 2017, according
Preliminary information received so far suggests that more may
already be on their way, mainly from Sakow, Buale, Jamame, Baidoa/
Bay region and Jilib.
"Close to 100 of the arrivals in Dadaab were among those assisted
through the voluntary returns program initiated in December 20,
2016," OCHA said.
Failure of two consecutive rainy seasons, Gu (short) and Deyr
(long) has brought severe drought to Somalia since 2015.
The continuous failure of rain throughout 2016 has made the
situation even worse.
While severe food insecurity and malnutrition is chronically
widespread across the country, aid agencies say drought in Puntland
and Somaliland has deepened and expanded to Southern and Central
regions increasing need to pre-2011 drought levels.
The UN said projections for the coming six months are not
encouraging, with continued deterioration foreseen for the coming
three months till the end of June, and only a slight improvement
during the following three months from July through September.
The food security situation has further deteriorated in the month
of March, which is usually the peak of the pastoral lean season,
according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS Net).
Food security is expected to only improve slightly from July
through September following the Gu harvest and improvement in
livestock conditions, says FEWS Net, the famine early warning system
that monitors food insecurity.
The UN said national and international NGOs and UN agencies have
worked together to reach more than 1.1 million people with safe
water in March alone.
According to OCHA, donors have moved quickly to generously
support scale-up of response and over 558 million dollars has been
made available or pledged for humanitarian assistance since January.
African Union commend Uganda for its contribution
in stabilizing Somalia