GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: Millions of Somalis are on the brink of starvation as funds to support about half of the population with life-saving assistance thins, the UN has warned noting some aid organisations have been forced to scale down operations or suspend support.
The UN humanitarian coordinator Adam Abdelmoula said in a statement Monday the Horn of Africa nation was staring at a ‘catastrophe’ unless donors commit to meet their side of the bargain. Only 26% of the $1.09 billion targeted for humanitarian assistance this year has come in, the UN said.
“Humanitarian partners can barely meet the basic needs of hungry families, desperate communities and displaced women and children,” Abdelmoula said adding, “We rely on the generosity of our donors to ensure the needs of the most vulnerable Somalis are addressed.”
He called on donors to ‘stand with families in Somalia and avert a disaster by fully funding the humanitarian response’. The funding crisis has left 5.9 million vulnerable children, women and men at risk of losing access to some or all of the life-saving and protection services they desperately need, the UN said noting the situation could turn for the worst unless urgent action is taken.
According to the UN office in Somalia, humanitarian needs have significantly increased this year but donor response has been the ‘worst in six years’.
The humanitarian situation has been aggravated by a double climate disaster – drought in some parts of the country and flooding in others – and the impact of political tensions, COVID-19 and the worst desert locust infestation in years.
“Even these hard-won gains will be lost if we fail to secure more funding,” said Mr. Abdelmoula. “While we seek long-term solutions to Somalia’s protracted crises, millions of Somalis are desperate for immediate assistance and cannot wait.”
Up to 3 million people could lose access to essential health care services, 1.7 million to safe water and improved sanitation and 250,000 children will face potentially life-threatening malnutrition, the UN said.