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Somalia Drought Expected to Displace Millions

FILE-Somalis fleeing from drought in the Lower and Middle Shabelle regions of the country carry their belongings as they reach a makeshift camp for displaced persons in the Daynile neighborhood on the outskirts of the capital Mogadishu, in Somalia Saturday, May 18, 2019.

Aid agencies operating in Somalia say drought is on the rise in that Horn of Africa country, which for decades has been battered by civil war and deadly attacks from Islamist insurgents linked to Al-Qaeda.

And, UN Food and Agriculture officials says they do not forecast a near end to Somalia’s lack of rain.

Relief focused organizations report over 3 million Somalians have been affected by drought and approximately 1,5 million people are expected to be displaced in the coming 6 months.

Adding to the situation is a jump in gender-based violence and conflict over natural resources.

The situation is amplifying calls by international NGOs and others to respond quickly and robustly, as stated by Norwegian Refugee Council Somalia Director Mohamed Abdi.

“For us to avert the humanitarian disaster that is unfolding before our eyes, we are asking donor countries to provide much-needed funding that is necessary to safe millions of people affected by one of the worst droughts in the last decade,” he says.

The Norwegian Refugee Council looks to aid half a million affected Somalis with much needed supplies and livelihoods to avoid further displacement of Somali citizens.

“This will help avoid further displacement. We also need to help people before they begin to move, especially for people that currently in hard to access areas. This means access is critical and supporting them at home before they move to urban areas in search of assistance,” says Abdi.