Somaliland:More than 240,000 people in the Country Face Starvation-Aid Agencies
September 17, 2015 – More than 240,000 people in Somaliland are severely food insecure due to a continuing drought in the region
Somaliland is currently experiencing an acute drought that has affected more than 240,000 people (40,000 Households) due to the shortfall of the Gu (April-June) rains in 2014 and 2015. The most affected regions are Awdal, Maroodijeeh, and Gebiley, which are traditionally the main food producing regions. Other regions affected include Selel and Sahil.
As a result of the failed rains, there has been poor crop production, acute shortage of water, and death of livestock – a key source of livelihood for communities in Somaliland. Consequentially, malnutrition is at its highest peak among infants, small children, the elderly, sick and other vulnerable groups. According to Save the Children, malnutrition rates – especially for children under the age of five – are currently at alarming rates and are likely to increase further. So far, thirteen deaths of children and elderly people have been reported, a number likely to rise if no immediate assistance is provided.
“We need to take note of the warnings that have been given and address the urgent needs of the people of Somaliland. As NGOs we need to work together with our donors to build communities’ resilience so that they can withstand the drought,” stressed François Batalingaya, World Vision Somalia Country Director.
The water shortage and rapidly drying pasture has led to an estimated 35 to 40 percent loss of livestock including camels, goats, sheep and cattle. This is according to a rapid assessment report on the situation that was conducted by a Drought Response Committee appointed by the Somaliland Government in collaboration with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the Humanitarian Coordination Office in August, 2015.
Communities in these areas are now taking desperate steps to cope with the situation. Due to the food shortages, families are now forced to skip meals, utilize dirty water and are moving to nearby towns and villages in search of food and water for themselves and their livestock. Aid agencies fear that unabated, the situation may lead to a humanitarian crisis that will result in more suffering and further displacement of people. “The assistance currently being provided does not meet the needs. These communities require urgent support to prevent further losses. This is especially important for the thousands of women, children and vulnerable groups that are bearing the brunt of the drought,” said Hassan Noor the Save the Children Somalia/Somaliland Country Director.
The government of Somaliland is appealing to governments and organisations to support with food items, water and health services to cater for the affected people. To date, the government has provided US$150,000 that can only cater for 3200 households out of the 40,000 requiring assistance.
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For more information, contact:
Save the Children: Nana Ndeda; Nana.Ndeda@savethechildren.org; +254 (0) 733 444 093
World Vision Somalia: Jennifer Jalovec; firstname.lastname@example.org; +254 (0) 731 073 217
Somalia NGO Consortium: Clare Ogara; email@example.com;+254 (0) 723 770 842
The Somalia NGO Consortium is a network of Local and International NGOs working in Somalia and Somaliland.
Action Africa Help International (AAH-I)
African Development Solutions (Adeso)
Care International (CARE)
Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
Environmental Care Organisation (ECO)
Finn Church Aid (FCA)
International Aid Services (IAS)
International Medical Corps (IMC)
International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW)
Oxfam International (Oxfam)
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
Save the Children Somalia/Somaliland (SCI)
Somali Journalist for Human Rights (SJHR)
Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Suisse (VSF Suisse)
World Relief Germany
World Vision Somalia (WVS)