UN says millions may die of starvation in Somalia’s drought

Lowcock says about $700 million is needed after a rainless season that has killed both livestock and crops.
UN says millions may die of starvation in Somalia's drought

A United Nations emergency relief co-ordinator has said if international aid is not sent quickly to Somalia by the end of summer, more than 2 million men, women, and children could starve to death because of drought.

U.N. Undersecretary-General, Mark Lowcock says about $700 million is needed after a rainless season that has killed both livestock and crops.

On Tuesday, Lowcock said U.N.’s Central Emergency Response Fund had allocated $45 million to cover water, food shortage and other daily needs in Somalia as well as parts of neighboring Ethiopia and Kenya that were also affected by drought.

He also said more than 3 million out of Somalia’s 15 million people are struggling to meet up to minimum food requirements, and the shortages have worsened now than this past winter.

Your Friends Also Read:  Ethiopia pays tribute to slain military chief with national funeral service

“What was forecast to be an average rainy season in Somalia is now one of the driest on record in over 35 years,” he said. “Communities that were already vulnerable due to past droughts are again facing severe hunger and water scarcity and are at risk from deadly communicable diseases.”

Internally displaced people (IDP) gather in the Shingani District of the Somali capital Mogadishu to collect food rations being distributed to families. (Photo by Abdirazak Hussein FARAH / AFP)

Aid by the U.N complements combined government efforts from the three countries to assist their people, with emphasis on internally displaced persons, and those living with disabilities. 

Somalia currently has a depleted humanitarian fund, and if financial aid is delayed, the cost of saving lives on the margin of death will get higher, Lowcock said, adding that the next option then will be to turn to expansive, therapeutic feeding programs.

Your Friends Also Read:  Nelson Mandela Foundation Blasts Trump

Lowcock said; “We could have a quick response now, which would be cheaper, reduce human suffering and more effective, or we can wait for a few months until we get all those horrible pictures on our TV screens and social media of starving kids.”

Lowcock, who heads the U.N. Office for Humanitarian Affairs, said that in past decades droughts came about every six years but recently they have hit every two or three years.

“There’s not really any question in my mind that these more frequent droughts are related to global warming and climate change,” he said. “So the only middle- and longer-term response is to look at alternative livelihoods — a different way to make a living.”

Your Friends Also Read:  Truecaller explores partnership with Rwandan firms

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central TV.

Contact: digital@newscentral.ng


Leave a Reply

Previous Article
UN begins movement of staff out of Sudan due to unrest

UN begins movement of staff out of Sudan due to unrest

Next Article
African Union suspends Sudan over unrest | News Central TV

African Union suspends Sudan until successful civilian transition

Related Posts