(Xinhua) -- An estimated number of
people who have been displaced by the severe drought ravaging
several parts of Somalia has risen to over 761,000 since
November 2016, the UN said on Tuesday.
The UN Office
for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its
latest report that over 22,000 displacements were recorded
between June 1 and 23.
The UN said out of 22,000, 13,500 individuals arrived in
Baidoa town from remote villages in Berdaale, Dinsoor and
Qansahdhere districts in Bay region and Rabdhuure district in
The UN said the cities of Baidoa which had 174,280 of those
displaced while Mogadishu (161,100) host 44 percent of these
"As of June 23, 16,300 IDPs are reported to have returned to
their places of origin in Bay and Bakool regions, with 60
percent of them returning in June. In 2017, 29,087 Somali
refugees returned to Somalia," said the UN.
According to the UN humanitarian agency, some 3,769 Somali
refugees returned - 3,158 from Kenya, 417 from Yemen, and 197
from Djibouti - in May alone.
Humanitarian agencies say the severe drought has made local
communities more vulnerable.
Most have been forced to sell their assets and borrow food
and money to survive.
The Horn of Africa nation is in the midst of a drought after
rains failed in November 2016, for a third year in the row.
Humanitarians in Somalia are seeking over 800 million U.S.
dollars to reach the most vulnerable with life-saving assistance
According to the UN, donors have been quick with their
contributions for a scale-up of response and over 600 million
dollars has been made available or pledged for humanitarian
response since January.
Poor rains to prolong
drought in Somalia and Ethiopia:
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
Poor distribution of rains is likely to
prolong drought and drive food security emergency in Somalia and
southeastern Ethiopia, food security experts warned in a report
released on Friday.
The monthly report by donor-funded Famine Early Warning
Systems Network (FEWS Net), the early warning system that
monitors food insecurity warned that a major food security
emergency is also expected to continue in the Horn of Africa
into early 2018, following very poor performance of the March to
June Gu/long rains, the second consecutive below-average season
in many areas.
"The impacts of very poor long rains seasonal performance
will drive large humanitarian assistance needs, despite the
likelihood of some limited improvements with the rainy season in
late 2017," FEWS Net said
According to FEWS Net, improved humanitarian access in
Somalia, and urgent, sustained assistance in Somalia and
southeastern Ethiopia, is needed to mitigate very high levels of
acute malnutrition and the threat of loss of life.
The report says the start of the March to June rains was
delayed by 10 to 40 days across the Horn of Africa, and
cumulative totals between March 1 and May 31 were less than 70
percent of average in much of central Somalia, southeastern and
southern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya.
The report says the regeneration of pasture and water
resources for pastoralists has been well below normal in
southeastern Ethiopia, central Somalia, and northern Kenya, and
July harvest prospects are very poor in most areas of southern
"These factors are likely to sustain high humanitarian
assistance needs across the Horn of Africa, and drive a
continuation of Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity in
southeastern Ethiopia and Somalia, " the report says.
According to FEWS Net, famine is possible in a worst-case
scenario in Somalia in which there is a significant interruption
in current food assistance in worst-affected areas.
"Improved humanitarian access in Somalia, and urgent,
sustained assistance in Somalia and southeastern Ethiopia, is
needed to mitigate very high levels of acute malnutrition and
the threat of loss of life," says the report.
The report says large areas of southeastern Ethiopia and
Somalia will continue to face emergency outcomes through early
2018, while much of the rest of the Horn of Africa remains in
crisis into early 2018.
The drought is having a significant impact on typical
agricultural and pastoral livelihood activities.
Harvest prospects, regeneration of pasture and water
resources, and improvements in livestock body conditions are
being severely limited by this year’s very poor seasonal
The report says sustained, well targeted, and timely
assistance throughout the Horn, along with increased
humanitarian access in southern Somalia, is required to mitigate
extreme levels of acute food insecurity expected into early