The United Nations estimates that half of Somalia’s population, or around 7.7 million people, will be in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in 2022.
The UN is asking for $ 1.5 billion to help 5.5 million people considered most at risk.
Many years of conflict, extreme weather conditions, disease and growing poverty have seriously affected the lives of Somalis. Many face severe hunger. The country faces famine due to lack of rainfall for the third year in a row.
Adam Abdelmoula is the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. He says 80 percent of the country is affected by Drought.
He told VOA that 169,000 people have left their homes in search of water, food and land for their farm animals.
“When I visited the countryside I saw a lot of dead animals,” he said. “The people I have met … and the age people I have met have told me that they haven’t seen this level of drought since the 1970s and 1980s.
Abdelmoula said Somalia has been neglected due to developing crises in other parts of the world, especially in the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia and in Afghanistan.
He added that the international community would be making a big mistake if it neglected Somalia.
Abdelmoula said that in the 1990s Somalia faced similar mass migration, famine and famine. He also noted the rise of the militant group al-Shabab, political unrest and widespread illegal trade during this period.
Recent estimates suggest the drought could force up to 1.4 million Somalis from their homes over the next six months. This number adds to the nearly 3 million people already moved by conflicts and natural disasters.
Abdelmoula says at least 1.2 million children under the age of five are likely to be seriously malnourished in 2022. He warns that around 300,000 children are at risk of dying without immediate assistance.
I am Jonathan Evans.
Lisa Schlein reported on this story for VOA News. Jonathan Evans adapted this story for Learn English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
Words in this story
Drought – nm a long period of time in which there is very little or no rain
age – adj. old or rather old; past middle age
moved) – v. forcing people or animals to leave the area where they live
malnourished – adj. not eating enough food or not eating enough healthy food; malnourished