Somalia famine may intensifies as rains fail, food prices soar: UN

According to UN agencies, over a quarter of a million people in Somalia are on the verge of hunger as a drought intensifies and global food prices stay around record highs.

According to the agencies, the country’s fourth straight rainy season has failed, and meteorologists are predicting another below-average rainy season later this year as the world’s climate grows more unstable.

At the same time, as the Russia-Ukraine conflict roils markets for staple cereals and edible oils, global food prices are approaching record highs set in March.

According to a statement released by the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UNICEF, and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, some 213,000 Somalis are at risk of famine, an almost threefold rise from April’s estimates (OCHA).

They claim that 7.1 million Somalis, or over half of the population, are facing acute food insecurity, which means they will be able to receive only the basic minimum of calories and may have to liquidate assets to survive.

“We cannot wait for a declaration of famine to act since the lives of the most vulnerable are already at risk from malnutrition and hunger,” El-Khidir Daloum, the WFP’s country director in Somalia, said.

According to the authorities, almost 3 million cattle have died in Somalia as a result of the drought since mid-2021.

The United Nations’ 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan is just 18% financed so far, and Somalia is competing for financing with other global disaster hotspots as food insecurity grows throughout the world, according to the organizations.

Famine killed an estimated quarter of a million people in Somalia in 2011.

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