GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: Somalia could be headed for a severe humanitarian crisis unless donors move in fast, the UN has said warning the cost of inaction could be ‘devastating’.
UN resident coordinator in charge of humanitarian affairs in Somalia Adam Abdelmoula reiterated the warning Thursday in remarks to mark World Humanitarian Day.
“The cost of inaction will be devastating. Without additional support, the fragile gains we have made thus far will be easily unravelled,” Abdelmousa said. He noted that despite the burgeoning humanitarian needs in the country, donor funding stood at only 40% of the 2021 target.
The UN and Somali government launched a $1.09 billion aid call at the beginning of the year as part of the annual Humanitarian Response Plan. But with only four months to go amid a donor fatigue, some of the 5.9 million Somalis facing dire food shortages could be subjected to more suffering.
According to the UN OCHA August bulletin, preliminary field assessments and analysis of historical crop data suggest the 2021 Gu’ (late March-June) cereal harvest in central and southern Somalia is at least 30-40 per cent below the long-term average (1995-2020).
The combined effect of COVID-19 has led to reduced household access to food and income and populations face major food consumption gaps, the report adds.
The UN official also paid tribute to humanitarian workers in Somalia noting they continue to face difficult situations including killings. “This year alone,146 incidents impacting humanitarian operations have been recorded in Somalia. One humanitarian worker was killed, five injured, one abducted and three were detained or temporarily arrested,” Abdelmousa said noting, targeting humanitarian workers is an egregious violation of international humanitarian law and such attacks must never be tolerated.