Somalia has been experiencing a long and severe drought (its worst in 40 years) which has also involved significant risks of famine.
On Friday, a United Nations relief official said that about 4 million Somalis are living at different levels of food security crisis.
According to George Conway, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, the situation is projected to deteriorate further until December.
Conway said, in a statement released in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, that about 3.8 million Somalis are internally displaced across the country, and the number has increased by 1 million people over the course of the protracted drought.
According to the official, Somalia has been experiencing a long and severe drought (its worst in 40 years) which has also involved significant risks of famine.
Official data shows that, at the height of the humanitarian response over the past two years, more than 6.3 million Somalis were receiving some form of UN assistance which included support with food, hygiene, water, sanitation and more. However, while recent rains have ameliorated the situation and food insecurity across the country has improved, challenges remain.
As of mid 2023, 114 million people remained forcibly displaced globally.— UNHCR East, Horn of Africa and Great Lakes (@RefugeesAfrica) October 26, 2023
Of these, refugees from South Sudan, Sudan & Somalia are among the top 10 countries at 4 million+. The cycle of displacement must be broken!
More details in the latest report https://t.co/CSzDj5XzrW pic.twitter.com/TrG3KTjx4n
"So right now, today, in addition to the baseline of humanitarian need in the country, we are very concerned about the impact of El Niño on the Deyr rainy season. We have already in the past two weeks seen flash flooding happening in a number of cities throughout the country. We have seen river levels rising," the UN official said.
Furthermore, according to estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organization, around 1.2 million Somalis could be impacted by flooding over the course of the next three months, with 1.6 million hectares of land also inundated as a result.
Somalis in camps for internally displaced people, and the host communities for those camps, are expected to be disproportionately affected, the UN official said. "The estimates that we have right now are that the rains are likely to be the worst that we've seen in at least 20 years, with the most recent worst rains in 1997," he said.
Moreover, Conway noted that UN humanitarian agencies have been working with the Somali government on preparedness measures to try to reduce the impact on Somalis.