UN migration agency launches $24.6 million appeal for drought-hit Somalia

Somalia is facing famine triggered by a major drought. Photo: IOM/Mary-Sanyu Osire

3 March 2017 – To meet the emergency needs of over a million Somalis affected by drought, the United Nations migration agency is appealing to international donors for $24.6 million in funding.

Humanitarian agencies worry that the situation has started to look increasingly similar to the 2011 famine in Somalia, in which over a quarter of one million people died, according to a press release from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

“We named this (2017) drought ‘Odi Kawayn,’ which is Somali for ‘something bigger than the elders,’” said drought victim Halima, explaining that none of the elders has ever seen a drought as severe as this one.

The IOM appeal has been designed to enhance the current response, and expand the agency’s geographic footprint within the northeast African country.

A massive increase in humanitarian assistance is urgently needed to avert a famine, with humanitarian agencies estimating that 6.2 million drought-affected Somalis are in need of assistance, including food, water and sanitation, health and nutrition, protection and shelter.

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