Aid agencies call on donors to urgently fund Somalia's drought crisis

by IANS |

Mogadishu, March 10 (IANS) More than 70 humanitarian organisations have called upon donors to urgently fund the current appeal in order to respond to the unprecedented hunger crisis in Somalia, where famine is projected from April to June.

The aid agencies, including Save the Children, Oxfam, World Concern and Action Against Hunger, among others, said in an open letter to the donors that actions should be taken before it is too late, reports Xinhua news agency.

"It is human actions that are driving famine and hunger, and it is our actions that can stop the worst impacts of losing lives. We call on you to take action now," the organisations said.

According to the latest UN-backed Integrated Food Security Phase Classification analysis, which was released last week, about 6.5 million people in Somalia are expected to face a food crisis.

The report says famine is projected in Baidoa, Mogadishu, and rural households in the Burhakaba district between April and June if the humanitarian response is not sustained or the rains do not perform well.

"The widening gap between the increased humanitarian needs in Somalia and the limited assistance we are able to provide is threatening to steal what hope remains on the faces of children, women, and the elderly in Somalia. We cannot allow all hope to be lost. We need to act fast," the agencies said.

The current crisis is caused by the historic failure of five consecutive rainy seasons, the longest and most severe drought in Somalia's recent history that is devastating the country.

According to the UN, the drought has displaced more than 1.4 million people and killed at least 3.5 million livestock, destroying livelihoods and reducing children's access to milk.

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