(Xinhua) -- The number of Somalis in
crisis and emergency levels of food insecurity is estimated to
reach 2.2 million by July, the UN humanitarian agency said on
The number marked an increase of 29 percent on
projections taken in February, according to a Somalia
Humanitarian Dashboard released by the UN Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
In addition, delayed heavy rains and related flash flooding
have resulted in the destruction or damage to crops,
infrastructure, housing and livestock, according to the OCHA.
"The lack of clean water is further heightening the risk of
waterborne disease outbreaks, while drought-induced displacement
is on the rise, with over 60,000 people displaced since the
beginning of the year," it said.
A recent UN report estimates a 40 percent to 50 percent
decline in crop production in Somalia, compared to the long-term
average, especially in northern and central regions.
Aid agencies appeal for
funding to avert humanitarian crisis in Somalia
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
Nine local aid agencies on Tuesday
appealed to the international community to increase humanitarian
funding to help more than two million people in Somalia facing
acute food shortages due to severe drought.
The agencies including Save Somali Women and Children warned
in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu that failing and
intermittent rains are wrecking havoc in Somalia where 2.2
million people are facing extreme hunger and some 5.4 million
need humanitarian aid as at the end of May.
Amina Haji, director of Save Somali Women and Children said
the massive spike in people requiring humanitarian assistance
shows just how fragile the situation is for millions of Somalis.
"A huge injection of funding is urgently needed to save
"We know early intervention is the best and most
cost-effective way to save lives, particularly for women and
children, who are always the most at risk," Haji said.
The UN says the 2019 Gu rains (April-June) have dismally
failed, resulting in a second consecutive below-average rainy
season while Somalia is still recovering from the impact of the
prolonged 2016-17 drought.
Two failed rains and harsh weather conditions during the dry
Jilaal season (January-March) has led to water scarcity, crop
failure and an accelerated decline in livestock productivity,
according to the UN.
The agencies warned that the situation is dire and is
predicted to get worse in coming months, saying a massively
scaled-up response is urgently needed to avert the humanitarian
The agencies said recent weeks saw some intense, short rain
in some locales, which although replenishes some water sources,
also caused extensive flooding and damage.
"We must collectively step up to the challenge with context
specific, long-term and locally driven solutions to problems
facing Somalis," the organizations said.
United States provides 185
mln USD in humanitarian support for Somalia
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
has provided 185 million dollars in humanitarian assistance to
help Somali people facing acute food shortage.
USAID administrator Mark Green said in a statement issued on
Monday evening that the funds will address food insecurity and
acute malnutrition, and deliver safe water and emergency health
care to people affected by ongoing conflict and prolonged
The Horn of Africa nation is currently facing emergency
levels of hunger, with an estimated 2.2 million people
experiencing life-threatening food insecurity and requiring
immediate food assistance.
Meanwhile, the U.S. announced on Monday that it has reopened
a permanent USAID Mission in Somalia after more than 28 years
since its closing on Jan. 5, 1991.
According to USAID, the team which is led by mission director
Jeffrey Bakken will work with the Somali government to advance
peace and stability in Somalia.
Somalia ministry of
livestock and forestry tackles environmental degradation
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
Somalia said Thursday it is tackling environmental degradation
which is closely linked to desertification, drought and
unsustainable livestock and agricultural practice.
Hussein Sheikh Hussein, minister of livestock, forestry and
range said that the government is committed to eradicating
deforestation by availing alternative options to communities.
"We are in the process of offering communities alternative
livelihoods for livestock production and alternative energy for
cooking," Hussein told a forum on unsustainable production and
illegal export of charcoal in Somalia organized by the UN
He noted that over exploitation of forest and rangeland
resources causes frequent drought and floods that affect
communities and create chronic humanitarian crisis in the
The minister said that unsustainable production use and
illegal export of charcoal remain the main cause behind
deforestation and land degradation in the country.
He attributed the situation to weakening of traditional
systems of decision-making on access to resources, absence of
alternative sources of energy and limited livelihoods options
have led to unsustainable production and trade of charcoal.
"We are making progress following charcoal trade ban by the
UN Security Council in 2012, and we continue to work in
partnerships in stopping the trade and providing alternatives to
charcoal," he added.
Hussein said the joint Program for Sustainable Charcoal
Reduction and Alternative Livelihoods is providing an integrated
approach to address the issues.
The program that is a partnership between the government,
United Nations Development Programme, UN Environment and Food
and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is focusing
on priority actions in the areas of policy support, capacity
development, advocacy and providing alternative energy and
livelihood options to charcoal use and production in the
Hussein said the government has intensified efforts to stop
"The annual wholesale value of Somali charcoal ending in
Middle East markets is estimated at 150 million U.S. dollars,"
The minister noted that the government, in a survey found
that about 8.2 million trees were cut down to make charcoal
between 2011 and 2017 alone.
"It is this destruction of trees for charcoal that leads to
degradation of land, destruction of the ecosystems and as a
result causes greater susceptibility to flooding and drought,"
Hussein noted that the livestock sector that gives the
country 70 percent of export earnings is most affected.
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