Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Latin America and the Caribbean – Somalia

Latin America and the Caribbean

The 2021 hurricane season in the Latin America and Caribbean region – which officially began on 1 June – is expected to be above average, with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projecting 13-20 named storms in the Atlantic. Between 6 and 10 of those potential storms could become hurricanes, including 3-5 major hurricanes of category 3 strength or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Between 2016 and 2020, some 27.1 million people were affected by storm- and flood-induced disasters in Central America and the Caribbean, a more than sixfold increase compared with the previous five years (2011-2015).

OCHA’s Regional Office is working with Resident Coordinators’ offices in the Caribbean and Central America and the humanitarian community to prepare for the upcoming season. Specifically, technical work is being carried out in the fields of planning, information management, humanitarian financing and civil-military coordination, areas that are most critical during an emergency response. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the surge in numbers across the region, preparations also include remote support.

Preparedness work is focusing on identifying and working alongside local organizations, a key lesson learned from the responses to hurricanes Eta and Iota and to the eruption of La Soufrière volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Somalia

Somalia continues to be battered by a double climate disaster in a context that has experienced decades of conflict and insecurity.

On 25 April, the Federal Government of Somalia, in consultation with the United Nations, declared a drought, with moderate to severe drought conditions affecting more than 80 per cent of the country.

Gu rains then started in parts of the country in late April and early May, triggering riverine and flash flooding that affected 400,000 people, of whom 101,300 were displaced.

The rains only came in some parts of the country and were largely below average, subsiding in mid-May, such that the critical Gu crop planting season has been significantly affected.

Approximately 2.73 million to 2.83 million people across Somalia are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes between April and September 2021, reflecting the deteriorating food security situation in the country.

Humanitarian organizations continue to respond in locations with the highest needs, including distributing critical WASH, non-food items, cash and food supplies, but funding remains a key gap across the humanitarian operation in the country.

The 2021 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan requires US$1.09 billion to assist 4 million people, but is currently only 20 per cent funded.

Source: OCHA