Hundreds of thousands of people in Somaliland ‘facing severe hunger’

More than 700,000 residents of Somaliland are in urgent need of humanitarian aid after failed rains, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has said.

The time to act is now, or the costs will increase, both in economic terms and in terms of the number of lives lost,” said Victor Moses, NRC’s country director for Somalia.

“Thousands of people particularly women and children, who are already food insecure, are now fearing the worst as little to no rain is expected over the next couple of months.”

According to the aid group, “severe lack of rain has worsened the drought in parts of Somaliland, leaving 725,000 people at risk of hunger and in urgent need of humanitarian support”.

It said it is currently providing diversified livelihoods and resilience-focused support to affected families.

Last month, the Somali federal government and humanitarian agencies appealed for $1.08bn to sustain aid operations in the next 12 months.

“Somalia has been faced with recurrent droughts, often leading to immense suffering and displacement,” said Moses.

“We have learned how important it is to secure an early intervention to prevent a crisis from escalating. In addition, there is a need to strengthen people’s resilience.”

The Oslo-based group said in a statement there is an urgent need of humanitarian aid in the region.