Conflict, Covid, and Climate crises has created a catastrophe in Somalia.
In Mogadishu, 800,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in the capital are living in cramped, informal settlements with limited access to food, water and healthcare. Warring militias have made many flee from their home villages and towns. Across Somalia, there are 2.9 million displaced people.
Prolonged droughts, shrinking water resources and lack of fertile land are fuelling tensions between Somalia's numerous clans and creating large-scale displacement across Somalia.
With a fragile economy largely based on agriculture, Somalia is vulnerable to increasingly erratic and extreme weather patterns, such as repeated droughts and seasonal floods. In the former, crops fail, and livestock die from lack of water and food; in the latter, they are simply washed away. Like much of the region, the country has also had to contend this year and last with swarms of desert locusts that consume approximately their own weight in fresh food every day.
The Cvid pandemic has disrupted the Somali economy and is worsening nutrition among vulnerable groups, including poor households in urban areas and IDPs living in crowded, unhygienic conditions.
The result is hunger.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned earlier this month that Somalia is “on the cusp of a humanitarian catastrophe”, with one in four people facing high levels of acute food insecurity and more than 800,000 children under the age of five at risk of acute malnutrition. In an emergency appeal launched in July, the IFRC said it was seeking to raise £7m (8.7m Swiss francs) to support the Somali Red Crescent Society to deliver humanitarian assistance to people in Somaliland and Puntland over the next 18 months.
Mohammed Mukhier, IFRC’s regional director for Africa, says: “Somalia is one of the riskiest places on Earth to live right now. The country is a catalogue of catastrophes. Climate-related disasters, conflict and Covid-19 have coalesced into a major humanitarian crisis for millions of people. We can’t keep talking about this; we must reduce suffering now.”
In June, the UN said Somalia was facing the worst funding shortage in six years.