PRESS STATEMENT – NGOs warn of looming hunger in Somalia.

At least 1.7 million people in Somalia face acute food shortages due todelayed and insufficient seasonal rainfall, humanitarian aid agencies have warned, calling for urgent humanitarian support to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of families at risk.

The national and international agencies operating in the country under the umbrella of the Somalia NGO Consortium, said that reduced access to safe water and growing food insecurity is already putting at risk the lives of millions of Somali populations.

They called for an immediate and scaled up response to the growing humanitarian needs in the country.“The number of people facing acute food shortages is increasing, but we are yet to see strongcommitments and unified efforts to save lives.

This is very concerning,” said Nasra Ismail, Director ofSomalia NGO consortium. “We must strengthen our efforts and increase resources in responding to theneeds of families and minimize human suffering,” she added.

The warning is in response to the release of the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) andFEWS NET report issued in April, 2019 that warned of a worsening food security situation in the country.

The report confirmed that at least 1.7 million people are now estimated to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) andEmergency (IPC Phase 4) between April and June 2019 – a 10 percent increase from the initial estimatesmade in February up until June 2019.

The total number of people who do not have access to sufficientfood has also increased from 4.6 to 4.9 million people which is at least 40% of the total population.“Most families were yet to recover from previous droughts and with critically low rainfall this season wewill likely see increased vulnerability for many and renewed risks that we may not have seen before.Without an urgently scaled-up response, the impact of this drought will be severe,” said Ismail.

“Ourpriority is to save lives and prevent the situation from deteriorating even further. We can only do this byinvesting more resources towards drought response interventions,” she added.Although most parts of the country has received moderate to heavy rains this week, this year’s Gu rains( April-June) are too late and too little to make an impact in food availability.

—-ENDS—-

For more information or to arrange interviews contact:

• Jamillah Mwanjisi, Chair of Advocacy Working Group- Somalia NGO Consortium. Mobile phone: +254 732 334 496, Email:Jamillah.Mwanjisi@savethechildren.org