Somaliland: IOM Warns Millions at Risk of Famine


Over six million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance with some areas expected to experience famine within four months. The circumstances of millions countrywide is deteriorating from a point of crisis to full scale emergency in the absence of adequate food, water, livestock and healthcare.

Some 363,000 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished of which 71,000 are at risk of dying. Hunger is particularly acute among 1.1 million people living in situations of protracted internal displacement.

The number of internally displaced persons is projected to increase to three million by June 2017 and IOM’s displacement tracking system is already reporting a rapid increase in the number of households arriving at urban centres, in search of much needed relief.

The current and projected life-saving needs, however, vastly exceed the funding available, putting IOM and its humanitarian partners’ ability to provide life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable in jeopardy.

The humanitarian situation in Somalia became increasingly fragile towards the end of 2016, especially in northern regions. Drought conditions are deteriorating in Puntland and Somaliland and have now expanded to southern and central regions, including Gedo, Hiraan, Galgaduud and Lower Juba.

“Severe drought conditions and famine warnings continue to drive Somalia’s vulnerabilities. Time is of the essence; the country hangs dangerously at the cusp of a famine. Water, food, medicine and shelter are our most immediate priorities. We cannot afford a repeat of Somalia’s devastating 2010 drought under our watch. We must do everything we can to stop the worst from happening,” said IOM Somalia Chief of Mission Gerry Waite.

Since the onset of drought in Somalia in mid-2016, IOM, in coordination with humanitarian actors and the governments of Somalia, has been providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to 334,366 people in 19 locations throughout the country.

IOM has provided clean water, rehabilitated boreholes, delivered primary health-care services through health facilities and mobile clinics, distributed solar lanterns to reduce gender-based violence, and supplied livelihood support for food security.

It has also initiated its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in the drought-affected areas to provide valuable data on displacement and mobility to inform the humanitarian response.

IOM’s emergency drought response and DTM are currently supported by the Somalia Humanitarian Fund, Central Emergency Response Fund, the Government of Japan and the European Union. They total approximately USD 4.1 million.


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