Drought and Conflict Exacerbate Food Insecurity in Somalia

The world’s attention is fixed on the crisis in Egypt—as it should be—but there’s another crisis brewing in Somalia. IRIN reports:

“An estimated 2.4 million Somalis require emergency humanitarian assistance as a result of civil unrest and food insecurity, according to the UN Food Security and Analysis Unit-Somalia. The failure of the short rains (October-December 2010) means over the coming months that that number could increase.

‘Somalia is teetering on the brink of a much larger crisis if the next rains, due in April, fail,’ Baroness Valerie Amos, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said at a press conference in Nairobi following a visit to Somalia. ‘There is a significant drought-affected population who are difficult to access because they live in areas controlled by armed groups.’”

Somalia already has an estimated 1.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) something and. People from rural areas whose animals have died are in need of food and water. So, they’re trickling into IDP camps in towns.

According to Mohamed Ahmed Aalin, president of the self-declared autonomous state of Galmudug in central Somalia, pastoralists in his state have already lost 75 percent of their sheep, 50 percent of their cattle and 30 percent of their camels.

The ever-changing political conflict in Somalia has made international aid distribution increasingly challenging. People who are most in need of aid aren’t receiving it. This makes working from the ground up within Somalia that much more important.

Read more about the emerging crisis.