MOGADISHU: Humanitarian partners will be forced to stop essential aid programs to Somalia due to a lack of funding, the United Nations relief agency warned on Sunday.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that without immediate funding, programs such as food assistance, nutritional activities, effective health care provision, and livelihood support will be suspended.
“More Somalis will suffer, and progress achieved over the last decade will be lost,” OCHA said in its latest report on the cost of inaction released in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
The UN agency warned that the drought emergency in Somalia has worsened with nearly half of the population, 7.7 million people, requiring humanitarian or protection assistance. It said the drought has impacted at least 7 million people, of whom 918,000 have been displaced from their homes in search of water, food, and pasture, including minority groups.
“The country is facing a reasonable chance of famine in 17 districts if crop and livestock production fail, food prices continue to rise and humanitarian assistance is not sustained to reach the most vulnerable populations,” OCHA said.
The UN has previously warned that immediate action is required to scale up and sustain humanitarian assistance, at least through the end of 2022, to prevent rising levels of acute food insecurity, mitigate the loss of life, and avert the risk of famine.
“Without a scale-up of assistance, drought will drive mass displacement, communicable diseases and protection violations in Somalia,” OCHA warned. The UN has warned that a historic fourth consecutive failed rainy season, skyrocketing prices and an underfunded humanitarian response have resulted in an increase in people facing catastrophic levels of food insecurity, starvation and disease in Somalia.