In itslatest Somalia Alert , the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET)
reports that high
levels of acute malnutrition and hunger-related deaths are being exacerbated by
concurrent disease outbreaks in the most vulnerable regions of the country.
Up to 8.3 million people in Somalia will need urgent humanitarian food
assistance through at least mid-2023 to prevent the death toll from rising.
“The international community’s response to theFamine Projection in September has made an important impact; however, the
ongoing hunger crisis in Somalia is truly unprecedented and warrants an even stronger
humanitarian response to prevent more lives from being lost as the drought
likely continues into the new year,” FEWS NET Team Leader Kiersten Johnson
The fifth consecutive failed rainy season projected for October-December has
been realized, with rains
performing 40-70 percent below average across Somalia. The latest forecasts
indicate the drought will continue with an unprecedented sixth below-average rainy seasonexpected during Somalia’s
April-June rainy season.
Over 1.3 million people in Somalia have been displaced by the drought since
early 2021. Many of these
people are now living in densely populated displacement sites without safe
water or adequate sanitation,
which combined with extreme food insecurity, water scarcity, and ongoing
outbreaks of measles
and cholera, are contributing to increased death rates.
The latest assessment further indicates there is a Risk of Famine in several
additional areas in southern
and central Somalia.
“The number of households affected by this drought continues to grow every
day,” Johnson said. “The lack
of an official Famine declaration should not send the message that all is well
in Somalia. Child
malnutrition and hunger-related deaths are already occurring, and if
humanitarian aid slows down
early next year, the world will witness even worse outcomes.”
government agencies and international donors fail to provide higher levels of
relief funding in 2023, it is
within the realm of possibility that hunger-related deaths could exceed that of
the 2011-12 Famine in
Somalia – when nearly 260,000 people died – without the thresholds for Famine