Some 6.9 million people in Somalia will require humanitarian assistance in 2024, the UN humanitarian agency said on Thursday.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the number is a reduction of 16 percent from 2022 and will target 5.1 million in 2024 for a total requirement of 1.7 billion U.S. dollars.
“Humanitarian assistance has prevented worse food security and nutrition outcomes in many areas, but the response was challenged, in part, by funding shortfalls across all sectors,” OCHA said in its latest report on the humanitarian action plan 2024 for Somalia.
According to the report, while Somalia managed to walk back from the brink of famine in late 2022 and early 2023, close to four million people continue to be food insecure and in need of assistance.
This is against a backdrop of decades of conflict, ongoing military operations and climatic shocks displacing thousands of people every month, the report said.
OCHA said excessive seasonal rains, flash and riverine floods have been particularly acute this year due to a concurrence of El Nino conditions and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole phenomenon, resulting in loss of life, destruction of property, loss of access to basic services, further displacements, and an aggravation of the prevalence of cholera and other water-borne diseases.
The floods are the latest in a series of extreme weather events in recent years to hit Somalia, where communities find themselves at the sharp end of the global climate crisis.
The UN agency said about four million people are internally displaced in Somalia due to the impact of climate change, conflict and insecurity, and other factors.
“Limited access to basic services such as shelters and food renders women and girls more vulnerable to gender-based violence and disrupts their ability to live in dignity,” it said.
According to OCHA, humanitarian partners have cumulatively reached about 8.4 million people with some form of assistance as of September.