A quarter of a million people in the breakaway region of Somaliland are facing acute food shortages due to poor harvests occasioned by rain shortages, a consortium of NGOs has warned.
The 19 national and international aid agencies have raised the red flag over the deteriorating situation in Somaliland as many households plunge into food crisis by the day with livestock dying in numbers.
The charity Save the Children said the malnutrition rates – especially for children under the age of five – are currently at alarming rates and are likely to increase further. The agency said 13 deaths of children and elderly people have been reported, a number likely to rise if no immediate assistance is provided.
“We need to take note of the warnings that have been given and address the urgent needs of the people of Somaliland. As NGOs we need to work together with our donors to build communities’ resilience so that they can withstand the drought,” stressed François Batalingaya, World Vision Somalia Country Director.
The warning comes barely two weeks after another report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) noted over 850,000 Somalis are facing acute food shortages and a total of 3.1 million others in need of food aid.
As a result, the aid agencies are calling for urgent humanitarian support to avert a further crisis and stop further displacement of people noting that the assistance currently being provided does not meet the needs.
“This is especially important for the thousands of women, children and vulnerable groups that are bearing the brunt of the drought,” said Hassan Noor the Save the Children Somalia/Somaliland Country Director.
To date, the government has provided US$150,000 that can only cater for 3200 households out of the 40,000 requiring assistance, the agencies said.