Published on Friday 14 April 2017

Conflict, drought, population displacement… the humanitarian situation in Somalia is catastrophic. Despite the announcement of the natural disaster and the mobilization of additional financial resources, the population’s needs are constantly increasing and are only partially covered.

For several weeks now, Somalia has been plagued with drought and famine has been threatening the populations. Access to certain areas is still complex for humanitarian workers and international mobilization is insufficient to meet the growing needs of the population. “Less than 50% of the funds needed to respond to this crisis have been mobilised. Of the $825 million needed, only $401 million was raised. It’s a first step but it’s not enough,” says Amélie Cardon, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL programme manager in the country.

Fear of famine…

After the 2011 famine, which claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people, Somalia, which has been officially declared in a state of natural disaster since the end of February, fears that it will experience the same scenario again. Since November, 430,000 people have taken to the road, leaving behind all their belongings and bringing the number of internally displaced persons to more than one million. Despite the displacement of thousands of families in search of water points and a little food, the number of people in food crisis situations is not diminishing. Half of the Somali population needs food aid and 1.1 million people are in a food emergency (food emergency precedes famine on the crisis categorization scale).

… and cholera

As if the crisis led to another crisis, in addition to the growing threat of famine, the cholera epidemic, aggravated by water shortages and lack of access to hygiene and sanitation, continues to spread. As of 29 March, 18,819 cases of cholera had been recorded and 443 deaths since the beginning of 2017. A higher figure than for the whole year 2016. “This figure is likely to increase as it is estimated that in the coming weeks up to 4.5 million people will need access to water for hygiene and sanitation. Access without which overcoming this disease is extremely difficult”.

Food stamp distributions, water distribution by truck, well rehabilitation and drilling, hygiene awareness, cholera control… On the spot, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL teams try to meet the most urgent needs of the populations. “We need to mobilize everyone to continue our activities and therefore relieve as many vulnerable families as possible.”

Somalia food crisis in figures

6 million people need humanitarian aid
1 million displaced across the country
In March, 3,000 new IDPs every day.
More than 438,000 displaced since November 2016.
3.3 million people need health assistance.
6 million people need food aid (50% of the population) and 1.1 million people are in urgent food need.
18,819 cases of cholera have been recorded and 443 deaths since the beginning of 2017. A higher figure than for the whole year 2016.
Up to 4.5 million people will need access to water, sanitation and hygiene in the coming weeks.

Photo banner: © Agata Grzybowska/Agencja Gazeta/ SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL

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