The U.N. World Food Programme is increasing its humanitarian aid to Somalia as food insecurity worsens and 1.5 million children throughout the nation face the risk of acute malnutrition this year, said WFP Somalia via twitter Thursday.
“As a result of 4 consecutive failed rainy seasons, livestock are dying, crops have failed, and communities in Somalia are facing severe food insecurity. WFP is scaling up its food assistance to support those most in need and avoid a major humanitarian crisis,” said a tweet Thursday from the United Nations World Food Programme in Somalia
The Horn of Africa, which has battled with food insecurity and economic instability for decades, has been devastated by a combination of recent detrimental factors. As the region works toward recovering from the covid-19 pandemic, it has undergone several years without receiving sufficient levels of rain. Additionally, Russia’s war on Ukraine has disrupted the global market and contributed to a sudden surge in prices around the world.
“The worsening drought, crop failure due to poor rains, and the sharp rise of food pieces has severely impacted food security and nutrition outcomes in Somalia leading to an increase in the number of children in need of treatment for malnutrition,” said an informative video accompanying the tweet from WFP Somalia.
According to the United Nations World Food Programme, 6 million people in Somalia were facing food insecurity in May of this year. This is nearly half of the nation’s population. WFP also reports that some 2.7 million people in Somalia cannot meet their daily food requirements.
“An estimated 1.5 million children under five years face acute malnutrition in 2022, 386,000 of them likely to be severely malnourished. As WFP scales-up its lifesaving food and nutrition support, more resources are urgently required to sustain humanitarian assistance,” the video continued.
The longstanding humanitarian crisis in Somalia was worsened by the covid-19 pandemic and has been further exacerbated by severe drought. As food insecurity has been on the rise, malnutrition has become an even more pervasive endemic in Somalia.
“I urge all Somalis wherever they are to come to the rescue of the people affected by the drought, share with them whatever is in our possession,” said recently elected Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in June.
However, there is only so much that Somali civilians are able to do and the nation does not possess the resources necessary to effectively respond to its growing food insecurity problem. Therefore, Somalia is largely reliant on international humanitarian support.
While Somalia faces alarming levels of food shortages and malnutrition, the current food crisis is one of global proportions. As people go hungry throughout the continent of Africa and around the world, humanitarians struggle to bring together enough resources to help all of those in need of help.