FAO warns of dire humanitarian situation in Somalia as famine looms

  • World
  • Wednesday, 21 Dec 2022

MOGADISHU, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on Tuesday warned of a dire humanitarian situation in Somalia with famine fast approaching.

The FAO said there is still time to turn the tide by addressing the immediate needs of rural communities, which are amongst those at greatest risk.

"The situation in Somalia remains dire. Current levels of humanitarian assistance are helping to prevent extreme outcomes, but they are not sufficient to halt the threat of famine beyond a few months at a time," FAO Representative in Somalia Etienne Peterschmitt said in a statement.

The recently released UN-backed Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Acute Food Insecurity analysis, which classifies levels of severity from one to five, specifically flags elevated mortality levels in some of the most exposed areas.

According to the latest projection update, between January and March 2023, 1.9 million people are expected to be in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) conditions, increasing to 2.7 million people between April and June.

The analysis warns that up to 727,000 people could face catastrophic food insecurity by June 2023, meaning starvation and death.

Peterschmitt said real action needs to be taken to help communities meet their immediate needs, adapt their livelihoods, and build resilience in the face of climate crises and economic shocks, preparing them for whatever the future may bring.

The FAO, however, warned that the world will never change this continued pattern of hunger extremes in Somalia unless this is accompanied by massively scaled-up investment in resilience and livelihood support.

Somalia has been on the brink of famine in recent months due to the historic drought triggered by five consecutive failed rainy seasons, skyrocketing food prices, and intensifying conflict.

According to the FAO, over 24 million U.S. dollars in cash, alongside livelihoods assistance, has been provided to rural communities that are most exposed to famine as it plans to reach over a million more people in the coming months.

Additional funds are still urgently needed to provide life-saving support, the FAO added.

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