MOGADISHU, Somalia – The delayed start and poor performance of the 2019 Gu’ rains resulted in severe drought conditions across Somalia, forcing millions of people into acute food insecurity.
Lack of rainfall marginalized millions of displaced people, according to George Conway, the acting Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia
Conway says in response, Somalia and the aid agencies (DRIP) provided critical life-saving assistance to 4.5 million Somalis between now and December at a cost of $686 million.
He added the food insecurity situation is extremely concerning with potentially disastrous consequences for the 2.2 million people facing crisis levels of food insecurity.
“The seasonal harvest is projected to be 50 per cent below average and even lower in some areas, while malnutrition, drought-related diseases and displacement as well as protection risks are exacerbating existing vulnerability,” George Conway said.
He applauds Somalia for demonstrating leadership and prioritizing scale up of response to the impact of the erratic and underperforming rains.
“I call on donors to fully resource the Plan and avoid a major crisis.” The recurrent climatic shocks are a clear sign that Somalia is persistently vulnerable to the effects of climate change”.
Mr. Hamza Said Hamza, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management. “We remain committed to move ahead with durable solutions under the Resilience and Recovery Framework and count on our international partners for support.”
The negative impact of erratic and abnormally performing Gu’ rains followed a poor 2018 Deyr season (Oct-Dec), and unusually dry conditions during the 2019 Jilaal season (JanMar), impacting communities that are still recovering from the severe drought of 2016/17. Amid this concerning situation, the humanitarian operation in Somalia remains underfunded with the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan having received only $450 of its requirements by end of July, forcing aid agencies to limit or reduce relief efforts at a time when scale up is critical.