UN staring at crippling lack of funds to tackle Somalia drought – Goobjoog News English

GOOBJOOG NEWS/NAIROBI: The United Nations sounded an alarm Wednesday that it is staring at a crippling lack of funds to handle Somalia’s severe drought, which has been “overshadowed” by other humanitarian crises including the Russia-Ukraine war.

Somalia, one of the world’s most fragile states, is being ravaged by drought, which has affected 4.5 million people, an estimated 30 percent of the entire population – following three consecutive seasons of poor rains.

Speaking at a press conference in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, Adam Abdelmoula, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia said that so far the UN has only secured three percent of the $1.46 billion (1.23 billion euros) required to meet the needs of Somalis, adding that “the situation is grave and is deteriorating rapidly”.

“The outlook was already grim prior to the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis. We have been overshadowed by the crisis in Tigray, Yemen, Afghanistan and now Ukraine seems to suck all the oxygen that is in the room,” he added.

“I am extremely concerned.”

An estimated 671,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in search of water, food or pasture, more than double the 245,000 who were displaced in December. 

Natural disasters – not conflict – have been cited as the main drivers of displacement in Somalia, a war-ravaged nation that tops the charts as one of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change.

But the crisis has struggled to gain traction among the international community, Abdelmoula said.

“I visited various capitals last year, five European capitals and Washington DC in an effort to put Somalia back on the map,” he said.

“As we say in the humanitarian community, we have lost the CNN effect so to speak.”

The drought in Somalia has been exacerbated by an invasion of locusts between 2019 and 2021 as well as the Covid-19 pandemic, exposing vulnerable communities to the severe effects of drought.

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