Mogadishu, 8 September 2022 (TDI): Somalia is facing the worst drought in the history of the past 40 years with millions of Somali people displaced. Along with the refugees their host communities are also facing extreme levels of acute hunger.

This famine is unfolding in Baidoa and Burhakaba districts in South-Central Somalia. It is anticipated to last till March 2023 if the required amount of aid does not reach the Somalian land in time.

Across the Horn of Africa, 20.5 million people face this hunger crisis. It includes children, old and sick people, and pregnant and lactating women. They need immediate global assistance to avert the worst-case scenario.

In the famine of 2011, nearly 250,000 people died, while hundreds of thousands more fled across the border into Kenya and Ethiopia. The famine of 2022 needs to be averted with a mutual effort to stop Somalia from reaching a devastating point.

Famine on the threshold

Local authorities and NGOs have been issuing clear warnings of catastrophic hunger levels for more than a year. Despite global commitments to this anticipating crisis, the funds raised for this cause are far less than the need.

Famine could break out at any given moment if livestock and crops continue to die. The skyrocketing prices continue to destroy purchasing power. People are forced to flee their homes in search of resources.

Global efforts

To fight this crisis, WFP is working to increase its emergency food and nutrition response to reach 4.5 million people a month. To reach their goal they need $327 million until January 2023.

This crisis requires an urgent ramp-up in humanitarian assistance. The international community has already been helping the Somalis in the wake of this crisis but their needs are quickly exceeding the available resources.

The United Nations Refugees Agency (UNHCR) has appealed to the world to come forward and help fight this humanitarian crisis as soon as possible. These funds must reach them before they are forced to flee in search of resources.

People are dying of hunger in 2022. It indeed is a brutal fact and is unacceptable at any cost. The world must act now before this deadly famine kills more.