International NewsNews

Lingering Risk of Famine in Somalia Despite Humanitarian Efforts

Despite increased humanitarian assistance and recent rains providing some relief from the devastating drought, the risk of famine still looms large among displaced people in Somalia, warns the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The situation is exacerbated by a funding shortfall and ongoing violence, which hinders the effective delivery of relief efforts.

Unicef reported that the lack of financing could adversely affect its provision of critical services such as water and sanitation, emergency education, and nutrition support. The World Food Programme (WFP) has already been forced to reduce food assistance from over four million people in March to 1.8 million people in July. OCHA expressed concern that without immediate additional funding, more partners might be compelled to suspend, scale back, or cease their programs.

Adding to the challenges, violence continues to impede the humanitarian response, with Medecins Sans Frontieres announcing its withdrawal of support to the General Hospital in Laas Caanood due to security concerns on July 25. The situation remains highly precarious, requiring urgent and sustained support from the international community to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Somalia.