The crisis in Somalia is predicted to worsen in the coming months as drought ravages the country and relief agencies struggle to raise funds for adequate humanitarian response.
And the UN is warning that the situation in Somalia, and the Horn of Africa in general, could take a back seat as aid agencies and donors focus on other crises around the world.
“Scaling up response to drought in Somalia is impeded by access and funding challenges,” said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Mr Adam Abdelmoula, in a situational statement last week.
The warning by the UN emerged as the Horn of Africa nation faces a crippling lack of funds to tackle a devastating drought.
“The situation has been ‘overshadowed’ by other humanitarian crises (in the world) including the war in Ukraine.”
Somalia’s drought is the effect of three consecutive seasons without adequate rain, according to an early warning system by the UN. The country is now facing a crisis with at least five million people leaving their homes in search of food and water.
Reports illustrate entire families who lost their animals and have now moved to urban settlements for assistance.
Experts consider the ongoing drought one of the most devastating in recent decades, affecting farmers as well as animal herders, and decimating both livestock and vegetation. It has been made worse by the dire scarcity of water.
The President of the South West State of Somalia, Mr Abdiaziz Hassan Laftagareen, held a meeting in mid-February with top religious personalities and businesspeople in a bid to mobilise resources and to motivate the government, the private sector and the non-state actors to respond to the plight of those affected by the drought.