Refugee agency is asking for $137 million to help displaced people in Horn of Africa


Today in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, more than eight million people are in need of food aid and about 332,000 people “urgently need food or their lives are in danger,” said UNHCR spokesperson Olga Sarrado.

A full one eight out of ten displaced persons are women and childrencontinued the UNHCR official, while the UN migration agency, IOM, warned that failed downpours and conflict in Somalia could “force tens of thousands of people” to seek refuge in major cities and towns, particularly in Baidoa and Mogadishu, where IOM projects that about 300,000 people could be displaced by July 2023”.

Calling for $137 million to sustain vital humanitarian programs this year, Ms Sarrado of UNHCR said that over three million refugees and internally displaced persons have already been forced from their homes in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Struggle to survive

Survival is a struggle for these uprooted communities, amid scarce water resources, hunger, insecurity and conflict. They need security and assistance just as much as host communities, the UN organization stressed.

“While famine has been averted so far in Somaliamainly due to an intensified humanitarian response, people continue to fight against life-threatening food and water shortages due to massive losses of crops, livestock and income,” explains Ms. Sarrado.

price to pay

However, the UNHCR spokesman warned that prices of essential foodstuffs and other commodities “remain at historically high levels, out of reach for many. The dangerous confluence of climate and conflict in the region is deterioration of one already dire humanitarian situation.”

In Somalia alone, 288,000 people have been internally displaced since the beginning of the year due to conflict and drought, UNHCR data shows.

More than 180,000 refugees from Somalia and South Sudan have also crossed over to drought-stricken areas in Kenya and Ethiopia, the UN agency said.

In the Somali region of Ethiopia, which is itself already badly affected by the drought, nearly 100,000 people have arrived in Doolo in recent weeks after fleeing the conflict in Somalia’s Las Anod region.

Desperate testimony

In Kenya’s Dadaab camps, UNHCR also reported the testimony of a 60-year-old woman from Somalia who said she endured three decades of conflict in southern Somalia, but that it was extreme hunger that forced her to flee for her life.

“Most newly displaced persons may never return to their places of origin as the country can no longer provide, and insecurity will only increase as competition for already scarce resources intensifies,” IOM said in a warning to the IOM. record number of 3.8 million people now. displaced in Somalia. “As a result, there will be whole families born and raised in informal settlements amid inappropriate living conditions.”

Humanitarian action

As part of its response, UNHCR plans to provide more basic relief supplies, including emergency shelters and household items, to new refugees and displaced persons in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

UN Geneva

Water truck supplies will be increased, while additional boreholes will be drilled and existing water and sanitation systems will be renovated.

Financial aid will be prioritized for the most vulnerable to help them meet their own food needs, while also encouraging traders to make food and other supplies available.

Health institutions will also be supported to intensify nutritional assistance for women and children through quality nutrition and medical treatment of related diseases.

“This extra help and protection is urgently needed…to save millions of lives,” said Ms Sarrado of UNHCR, noting that last year’s call raised less than half the amount needed to respond to the drought.

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