UN says over 1.5 mln still face food crisis in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Despite international efforts to address food insecurity, more than 1.5 million people are still facing severely food insecure in 2019, according to a United Nations-backed report on food crises.

The joint assessment by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia (FSNAU), a project managed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, calls for urgent humanitarian aid and livelihood support to avert the crisis.

In addition, 903,100 children under the age of five are anticipated to be acutely malnourished in 2019, adding that the overall, 4.9 million people in Somalia are estimated to be food insecure, an increase from 4.6 million people since last September, the report said.

About 43 percent of the total facing food insecurity are internally displaced persons, a reduction compared to previous assessments, the report said.

“Over 1.5 million people facing acute food security crisis or worse need urgent humanitarian assistance and livelihood support in 2019”, said the report by FSNAU and FEWSNET.

The FSNAU says the overall nutrition situation in Somalia has improved due to better food security conditions, reduced outbreak of disease, and sustained humanitarian interventions.

Last month, Somali government and aid agencies operating in the country launched the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and called on donors to provide sufficient and early funding to sustain aid operations in Somalia in 2019.

The response plan seeks $1.08 billion to provide life-saving assistance and livelihood support to 3.4 million people affected by conflict, climatic shocks, and displacement across Somalia.

Reporting by Abdirisak Mohamud Tuuryare from Mogadishu, Somalia