Drought conditions set to worsen Somalia food crisis - Statement by Philippe Lazzarini, Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia [EN/SO]

Mogadishu, 8 July 2014: “The latest assessments from the Food and Agricultural Organization warn that the food crisis in Somalia will deteriorate in the coming months, with drought conditions already observed in parts of the country due to a poor rainy season. Rainfall was recorded at less than 50 per cent of normal levels during the March to June Gu rains.

Today we face a stark reality. The elements that could tip Somalia into an acute crisis now stand before us – drought, continued conflict, restricted flow of commercial goods, increasing malnutrition and surging food prices.

Two months ago I warned that Somalia’s fragile food security situation was likely to worsen in the coming months. This is now reality. In the coming months, for the first time since the 2011 famine, we will see the number of people in food security crisis and emergency go up again. We cannot let these food security warnings fall on deaf ears. I call on the donor community to make resources available immediately so that relief organizations can take action without delay. We can save lives today if we act now.

Despite the dire humanitarian situation that is unfolding, the Consolidated Appeal for Somalia is woefully underfunded at 25 per cent. A gap of about US$700 million is still required to provide humanitarian assistance until the end of 2014, to 2.9 million people who are struggling to feed themselves.

Funding is urgently needed today so that aid agencies can provide food, livelihood resources, health assistance and nutritional support to people in the worst-affected areas. I am especially concerned about 350,000 displaced people living in deplorable conditions in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, where acute malnutrition rates and mortality levels have already surpassed emergency thresholds, and where the situation is set to worsen.”

For more information, contact:
Michelle Delaney, Public Information Officer, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Somalia (delaneym@un.org / +254 (0) 731043156)
Dawn Blalock Goodwin, UN Head of RC/HC Communications (blalock@un.org/ +254 (0)734210102)

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.