FAO seeks USD26-M to help 1.5-M Somalis

FAO seeks USD26-M to help 1.5-M Somalis

MOGADISHU, Jan. 17 (PNA/Xinhua) — The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said on Monday that it is seeking USD26 million to help an estimated 1.5 million Somalis who are facing food shortages as well as to protect livestock until June.

FAO said in its Drought Response Plan for 2016/2017 for Somalia that the money will be used for cash-for-work and unconditional cash to save lives of those without income and food; and emergency veterinary care and water for animals to survive the dry season and thus protect 8.5 million livestock.

“By December 2016 — following the poor Deyr rains — conditions worsened, with most of the country experiencing severe to extreme drought. The Jilaal dry season follows from January to March. This is the driest and hottest time of year in Somalia,” it said.

FAO said during these harsh months, rural families rely on remaining water and pasture from the preceding rainy season, and food and income from the preceding harvest. This Jilaal, however, pastures, wells and grain stores will be largely barren.

According to the FAO-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) in November 2016, an estimated 1.37 million people will be in crisis or worse between February and May primarily due to below-average rains during Deyr (October-December) following poor Gu rains (April-June).

The report says food insecurity is expected to be highest in agropastoral areas of southern and central Somalia, and in Northern Inland Pastoral and Guban Pastoral livelihood zones in the north.

FAO said there is also serious concern for people in areas where malnutrition has persisted for multiple years, such as Beletweyne and IDP settlements in Dollow and Galkayo.

Five million Somalis — 40 percent of the population — are acutely food insecure through December 2016. (PNA/Xinhua)

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