Aid agencies report worsening humanitarian situation in Somalia

Humanitarian agencies are reporting critical water shortages across Somalia amid worsening dry conditions in the country, the United Nations has said.

In a briefing released yesterday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that in Somaliland and Puntland, aid agencies have already observed stress-induced migration among pastoralist communities as a result of the worsening situation.

The UN agency attributed the situation to a poor October-December rainy season.

“While the number of people in [crisis] has remained stable over the last year…the number of people in stress has increased by more than 10 per cent,” it said.

“If the next Gu rainy season (April-June) performs poorly, those in the stressed phase may find their situation deteriorating further”

Somalia experienced a prolonged drought from late 2016 through late 2017 that resulted in significant livestock losses and consecutive seasons of below-average production, causing severe and at times extreme acute food insecurity.

Photograph: UN/Ilyas Ahmed