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Funding desperately needed to save lives in Somalia where hunger conditions are “catastrophic”
Concern calls for more support in response to report stating famine levels not yet reached in Somalia
More funding is urgently needed from wealthy nations to help save lives and prevent famine in Somalia where people are currently suffering and dying from a major hunger crisis, Concern Worldwide has warned.
The humanitarian organisation said more support is needed in the East African nation in response to the latest report by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), which said that Somalia did not reach “IPC Phase 5 Famine” levels between October and December 2022.
The IPC, which determines the severity of food crises, said, however, that the underlying crisis in Somalia “has not improved and even more appalling outcomes are only temporarily averted.”
The report also states that “prolonged extreme conditions have resulted in massive population displacement and excess cumulative deaths.”
In response to the report, Concern’s head of international programmes, Carol Morgan, said more funding is needed as conditions for people trying to survive in many parts of Somalia remain “catastrophic.”
“Famine is a powerful word, a word that can save lives when used at the right time,” she said.
“But whether a famine is declared is immaterial to those who have already died of starvation, and for those wasting away due to a lack of access to food today.
“More funding must be made immediately available to agencies responding with communities in great distress or many more people will die.
“The situation facing 7.8 million people in Somalia is deteriorating by the day.
“That famine has been averted is an unexpected finding of the IPC report. This does not mean that famine has been prevented.
“It does not indicate that the humanitarian response and wider efforts to date have been sufficient.
“The situation is severe and will continue to worsen as the drought extends into 2023. Food and water prices will continue to rise and displacement due to the harsh conditions and ongoing military offensives will drive more people to seek assistance in overwhelmed urban areas.
“Humanitarian actors face immense constraints on resources and security, and there is limited possibility that these constraints can be addressed with the required urgency to allow for the necessary scale of response.
“As parts of the country are already at risk of running out of water completely, the only message to the international community should be that help must come and it must come quickly.
“Insufficient data and limited sampling are enormous challenges; many areas cannot be assessed due to access challenges. It is rarely possible to have a true picture of the scale of hunger crises.”
Concern is among the agencies responding to the drought and food crisis affecting 7.8 million people where 300,000 people in the south of the country are facing famine-like conditions.
It is estimated that 5.1 million children are acutely malnourished in drought-affected areas of the country and that Of these, 1.4 million children are at risk of dying as a result of hunger.
For more information or interview requests, please contact Charlotte Mallory at [email protected].
To support Concern’s response to the drought across East Africa visit www.concern.org.uk/donate/east-africa-crisis-appeal
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