Connect with us

Humanitarian Watch

Food Crises Getting Worse in Somalia, Kenya

Published

on

Severe food crises are growing in Kenya and Somalia, as the Horn of Africa continues to receive below-normal rainfall, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network.

The hunger-tracking group says 2.9 million people in Kenya and 3.2 million in Somalia are experiencing Phase 3 or higher on the network’s five-tier warning scale, with Phase 3 being the crisis stage and Phase 5 being a full-fledged famine.

The numbers represent a jump of 800,000 in Kenya and 300,000 in Somalia since FEWSNET’s last estimates, released in June.

The need is urgent

Peter Thomas, FEWS NET decision support advisor, says Phase 3 indicates that households are in need of urgent humanitarian aid.

“This means that households are unable to meet their basic food needs for survival and facing gaps in their basic food needs,” he told VOA’s Horn of Africa Service.

Thomas says the new estimates were compiled just after the March to May rainy season, which FEWS NET said was “very poor” across southern Somalia and northern Kenya. Some parts of Kenya received just 25 percent of the normal rainfall.

The rain was more plentiful across nearby Ethiopia, except in the south, where drought conditions continue and millions across the Somali and Oromia regions remain in need of assistance.

Somalia a concern

Aid agencies like the U.N. World Food Program have helped many Horn residents hold off starvation. But Thomas warns that in Somalia, the situation could change. In the past, militant group al-Shabab has periodically banned aid agencies from helping people in towns under the group’s control.

“In the worst case scenario, if the humanitarian assistance is cut off and access to humanitarian need by local communities are restricted, famine could be possible,” he said.

The last declared famine in Somalia, in 2011, killed an estimated 260,000 people.

On Saturday, the Trump Administration announced more than $630 million in aid to Somalia and three other countries where conflict has led to or contributed to widespread hunger; South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen.

Humanitarian Watch

More Than 130 Somali Refugees Repatriated from Yemen

Published

on

GENEVA — In a joint operation funded by the United States, the U.N. migration and refugee agencies have repatriated 134 Somali refugees from war-torn Yemen.

A refugee boat carrying 73 men and women and 61 children left the Yemeni port of Aden on Monday and is to arrive Tuesday at the Somali port of Berbera. It is the third voluntary return of Somalis organized by the International Organization for Migration and U.N. refugee agency since September.

IOM spokesman Joel Millman said some previous efforts had to be suspended in the past few years because of the risks involved in organizing an operation such as this in a war-torn country.

“Despite security difficulties there and the fact of divided authorities, we were still able to get into an area around Aden that has not always been accessible to humanitarian aid groups and manage this transport,” he said.

The U.N. migration agency reports the Somalis came to Yemen in search of a better life, but got caught up in the conflict and often were subjected to abuse by smugglers. The IOM began organizing the voluntary returns in November 2016. Since then, the agency has helped 1,845 Somalis return home.

Millman told VOA Somali refugees receive a reintegration package to help them restart their lives when they arrive home. He said they often receive a grant of $1,100 so they can start a business, buy a cow, or invest in some other form of livelihood. That acts as a big inducement for refugees to voluntarily return, he noted.

“It is a strong sweetener because the stigma of going abroad and failing is so great that we find this is a very effective way of lubricating I guess is the best word, this process,” he said.

Millman said the cash grant ends up being less expensive for the donor than the cost of keeping a refugee or migrant in detention in Europe. He noted that the repatriation project is funded by a $4.4 million donation from the United States.

Continue Reading

Humanitarian Watch

Somalia faces yet another famine

Published

on

Somalia is facing its second major famine in six years.

Under the shadow of that threat, one aid group is making a difference for the many Somalis who have lost loved ones and their homes.

When it struck in 2011, the Turkish Red Crescent was among the first international aid groups to help. And it hasn’t left Somalia since.

TRT World’s Editor-at-Large Ahmed al Burai, has more.

Continue Reading

Humanitarian Watch

9 dead, more at a risk as drought ravages Somalia

Published

on

A severe drought has claimed the lives of at least nine people in Somalia’s Galkayo District, media reported.

The state broadcaster, Mogadishu Radio, quoted Galkayo Mayor Hersi Yusuf Bare giving the statistics while warning that the situation could get worse.

“The destitute people I met at Harhaar pastoral land are deeply susceptible to the effects of the famine generated by the severe drought,” said Mr Bare.

“So far, nine people have died in the areas visited, a sign that many more were vulnerable,” he added.

The mayor said the severe weather conditions had displaced thousands from Galkayo, which lies some 750km north of the capital Mogadishu.

He stressed that many nomadic people had been forced to migrate as the drought continued to decimate most of their livestock.

The generally insufficient rains in the southern and central Somalia have severely diminished the local food supplies.

UN agency OCHA on August 31 stated that malnutrition had reached emergency levels in a number of locations in southern and central Somalia.

“Malnutrition, one of the leading indicators of the crisis, has reached emergency levels in a number of locations in southern and central Somalia, primarily, though not exclusively among displaced populations,” OCHA was quoted saying in ReliefWeb .

“Overall, some 388,000 acutely malnourished children are in need of critical nutrition support, including life-saving treatment for more than 87,000 severely malnourished children.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

TRENDING

Copyright © BARTAMAHA MEDIA.