According to a new UN report over 4.7 million people in drought-hit Somalia need humanitarian assistance.
The Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia (FSNAU, a project managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) suggest that around 40 percent of the population are, what they term, “food insecure”.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Monday, Frank Nyakairu, spokesman for the Food And Agriculture Organization in Kenya, said that the El Nino weather phenomenon was partly to blame for a drought that has hit the East African country.
“Four-point-seven million people are in urgent need of food aid due to the poor rainfall that has been experienced in the Horn of Africa region; the food security situation is alarming, 68 percent of those who are severely affected are Somali internally displaced persons,” Nyakairu said.
Nyakairu said that according to a survey conducted by the FAO from October to December last year, more than 304,700 children under the age of five in Somalia are acutely malnourished.
Peter de Clercq, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia said: “We are deeply concerned that the proportion of severely food insecure people remains alarmingly high, especially people who are unable to meet their daily food needs.
“Some 3.7 million people will be acutely food insecure through mid-2016. With severe drought conditions intensifying in Puntland and Somaliland, many more people risk relapsing into crisis.”
This, De Clercq said, reiterating that the level of malnutrition among children, is of serious concern; Somaliland and Puntland are the most affected by the drought caused by El Nino.
“Humanitarian assistance is vital and has achieved enormously positive food security results in recent years. But this alone will not free Somalia from the scourge of hunger.
“We must look to remove the underlying causes of hunger. Fighting hunger is development priority, as well as a humanitarian one,” De Clercq added.