Humanitarian organisations responding to the crisis in Somalia have said that a massive scale-up in resources is needed to save the country from famine.

According to multiple reports from aid agencies, there is an urgent need to bridge the funding gap that has 40 percent of people in Somalia on the brink of starvation.

The United Nations (UN) has warned that eight of Somalia’s 90 districts are already in famine-like conditions that are categorised as catastrophic.

Since 1990, the country has faced more than 30 climate-related hazards, including 12 droughts and 19 floods.

Somalia has now gone through four unprecedented failed rainy seasons in a row with some 6.1 million Somalis affected by the situation.

‘Already 1.5 million children below the age of five are malnourished, and we expect that 356,000 of these may not survive through the end of September this year’, United Nations’ Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula, said.

‘Acute malnutrition is about to increase unless we scale up our response plan in a major way.

‘Some 7.1 million Somalis are in need of food assistance. If the fifth rainy season fails, this number will increase significantly’.

Estimates from the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) project more than 1.4 million children in Somalia, nearly half of the country’s under-five population, are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition due to the ongoing drought.

Speaking on his first-hand experience of the situation in Somalia, the Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Jan Egeland, said people in the country are suffering from the devastating effect of the climate crisis they have little or no contribution to.

‘I am shocked by the devastating impact of this historic drought, impacted by a changing climate they did nothing to cause’, Egeland said.

‘People tell me the heartbreak suffered having lost family members and fleeing drought that has ravaged their land and communities’.

For their part, the World Food Programme (WFP) said government across the globe must make urgent and generous donations if there is to be any hope of avoiding a catastrophe.

Photo source: UNICEF Ethiopia

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