SOMALIA: OCHA Seeks Assistance as Country Faces ‘Triple Threat’

By Wairimu Ruth

MOGADISHU, FEBRUARY 19, 2021(CISA) –The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has called  for humanitarian assistance in Somalia as it seeks to raise $1.09 Billion to assist 4 Million people in need.

“Humanitarian situation in Somalia has worsened due to the devastating combination of conflict, as well as increasingly unpredictable and erratic weather and climate shocks including drought. Three additional shocks; a desert locust upsurge, extensive flooding, and the Covid-19 pandemic – deepened the scale and scope of the humanitarian crisis in 2020, and their consequences will continue to exacerbate humanitarian needs in 2021,” (OCHA) said in a February 16 statement.

Somalia is expected to continue facing significant humanitarian challenges. Together with Somalia authorities, humanitarian partners have identified several complex threats that are likely to shape humanitarian conditions over the next year. Drought conditions are predicted due to the risks associated with the high chance of a La Niña (cold event) developing through March, which will likely affect crop production and food security.

“The appeal covers requirements across eight emergency clusters, spanning education, food security and livelihoods, health, logistics, non-food items (NFIs) and emergency shelter, nutrition, protection, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). It is imperative that the HRP is funded fully and early to enable a rapid and robust response across the country,” OCHA said.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) emphasized the urgency to increase support for ongoing desert locust control and surveillance efforts, and to provide rapid emergency assistance over the coming months.

“Expanding the emergency response is crucial and underway, with a focus on interventions aimed at reducing food consumption gaps, saving lives, and protecting and preserving livelihoods,” said Etienne Peterschmitt, FAO Representative in Somalia.