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Current Affairs

Drought emergency in Somalia

Date: 21 April 2022 Tags: Disaster & Disaster Management

Issue

Failure of rains has caused droughts in the dry country of Somalia. Famine conditions have caused high inflation and shortage of food.

 

Background

Somalia is one of the world’s poorest and under-developed countries. Majority of the population is severely undernourished.

 

Details

  • It is assumed that more than 1.4 million children are severely malnourished. Without proper intervention, about 3,50,000 of them are likely to be perished.

  • The FAO, UNICEF and WFP have issued similar concerns about the grave situation in Somalia. They have asked for injection of funds.

  • The funds can be used to increase assistance in Somalia as the drought situation has exposed more than 40% of population to severe risk.

 

The start of issue

  • The Horn of Africa country is struggling with multi-season drought since 2020. Insecurity, conflict and political tensions have exacerbated the situation.

  • The seasonal rainfall in Somalia occurs in two bouts—the Deyr season between September/October and Gu season between April-June.

 

Crisis

  • The Deyr season started late and ended early. The erratic rainfall pattern resulted in low crop production in southern and north-western Somalia.

  • The cumulative rainfall was 40-60% below average. The cereal production fell by 58% below the 1995-2020 average.

  • This led to increased migration in search of food, water, pasture. This affected the resources in less drought-affected region.

  • The dry and hot season compounded the problems. The government declared emergency and called for international assistance.

 

Epidemics

  • Outbreak of measles is being reported across many parts. The poor living conditions may increase the numbers.

  • There are increased cases of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD), which further compounds the problems of malnutrition.

 

Future predictions

  • A moderate rain season would not offer any particular respite from the conditions. Food prices are likely to increase due to supply constraints.

  • People dependent on livestock will have very less option of increasing income as fewer animals are expected to be born.