About 5.2 mln people in Somalia need aid through 2021: UN

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) — Some 5.2 million people are in need of aid through 2021 in Somalia because of climatic shocks — including floods and locust infestation — armed conflict and insecurity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, UN humanitarians said on Wednesday.

“The humanitarian crisis in Somalia continues to be one of the most complex, fragile and protracted in the world,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. About 2.6 million people live in protracted displacement and more than 1 million Somalis have been displaced this year.

Recent flooding has affected nearly 1.6 million people, including 716,000 displaced, destroyed farmland and infrastructure and increased the risk of water-borne diseases, the humanitarians said.

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A desert locust infestation since January affected 685,000 people.

Without aid, food insecurity is expected to increase from among 1.3 million people to about 2.1 million through December, OCHA said. Nearly 850,000 children under the age of five years face acute malnutrition between now and August of next year.

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However, despite the challenges, OCHA said the United Nations and partners have reached more than 2.3 million people with aid this year.

But the humanitarians said funding per sector remains disproportionate, with more than half of the clusters receiving less than 35 percent of required funding.

Overall, of the UN 1.01-billion-U.S.-dollar Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan, 61 percent, or 618 million U.S. dollars, has been received.

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