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Somalia: Urgent scaling-up of emergency response is needed as 2.65 million people are expected to suffer from acute hunger

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According to the latest joint technical assessment published by the Food and Nutrition Security Analysis Unit (FSNAU) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, it is expected that more than 2.6 million people in Somalia are extremely food insecure. (FEW NET). The report cites low rainfall, flooding and desert locusts among the main contributing factors and warns that the situation could worsen until mid-2021 in the absence of sustained large-scale humanitarian assistance.

FAO and the Government of Somalia have emphasized the urgency of increased support to sustain ongoing Desert Locust control and surveillance efforts, and to provide rapid emergency assistance over the coming months.

“Despite relative progress, there has been a further increase in desert locusts that has destroyed crops. We will continue to work as a combined force to combat the threat of desert locusts and mitigate the potential for a more devastating outcome,” said Said Hussein Ii. Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation of Somalia.

The report highlights that desert locusts will continue to pose a serious risk of damage to both pastures and crops across the country through mid-2021. Additionally, available forecasts indicate a greater likelihood of below-average rainfall during the season. 2021 Gu (April-June) in most of the country, further exacerbating food and nutrition insecurity for millions of people.

“With the support of the Government, our teams and partners have kept operations under control and vigilance, while providing humanitarian assistance and support to crucial livelihoods during extremely difficult circumstances. Scaling up the emergency response is critical and ongoing. ongoing, with a focus on interventions aimed at reducing food consumption gaps, saving lives and protecting and preserving livelihoods, ”said Etienne Peterschmitt, FAO Representative in Somalia.

From July to December 2020, assistance reached more than 1.8 million people per month on average in some parts of Somalia. This large-scale humanitarian and government support helped minimize the scale of the crisis, and funding is urgently needed to drive efforts to reduce the emerging threats to food security the country currently faces.

Food insecurity is expected to deteriorate

Approximately 1.6 million people face a crisis (phase 3 of the ICF) or worse outcomes in the presence of planned humanitarian assistance during the first quarter of 2021. Another 2.5 million people are stressed (phase 2 of the CIF), bringing the total number of people suffering from acute food insecurity to 4.1 million. This also includes approximately 840,000 children under the age of five who are likely to be acutely malnourished, including nearly 143,000 who are likely to be severely malnourished.

According to FSNAU-FEWS NET, from April to June 2021, food insecurity is expected to deteriorate, largely among poor rural, urban and displaced populations, due to the multitude of threats and crises. Humanitarian assistance must be maintained until mid-2021 to avoid crisis outcomes (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) for almost 2.7 million people.

“Somalia’s long-standing crises are now exacerbated by the ‘triple threat’ of the COVID-19 pandemic, desert locust infestations and climate impacts,” said the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Adam Abdelmoula, who also serves as a UN. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. We must continue to work with all humanitarian partners to ensure that the most vulnerable Somalis can cope with challenges and build resilience in the face of future crises. I urge all partners to work together on the humanitarian, development and peacebuilding pathways to address the root causes of these crises and build durable solutions that leave no one behind, ”he added.

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