The Somali government has appealed to the international community for humanitarian support, saying 6.9 million people have been affected by the severe drought which is ravaging several parts of the country.
Prime Minister Mohamed Roble in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Monday evening urged donors to hasten aid as the drought condition is deteriorating.
Roble, who held a meeting with representatives of the donor community Monday, said the drought has affected nearly 6.9 million people and more than 9.5 million livestock, with 2.6 million people facing severe water shortages.
“The country is experiencing the worst drought since the 2011 famine. Three consecutive rainy seasons have failed, resulting in the destruction of livestock and crops,” said Roble, urging the international community to take part in the ongoing emergency assistance to the drought-affected people in the country. “Our calls for help have been answered by various countries and organizations that have sent aid to the worst affected areas of the country.”
“I appeal to you to come to the aid of the Somali people who are suffering from drought, in order to prevent famine, which would result in mass deaths and a difficult humanitarian situation to deal with,” said Roble.
The appeal came after the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned that the drought emergency is expected to get worse ahead of the next rainy season in April, noting that cases of measles and acute watery diarrhoea /cholera are on the rise.
OCHA said additional funding for priority sectors is urgently required to save lives and livelihoods, adding that local communities, authorities and humanitarian partners continue scaling up assistance within available resources.