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Somali NGOs raise red flag over ‘slow response’ as millions go hungry

Storyline:National News

Humanitarian agencies in Somalia have warned of slow response amid a deteriorating food situation in the country echoing the UN which has also raised the red flag over little funding from the donor community.

Somalia NGO Consortium which is a network of non-governmental organisations in the country said Sunday despite millions of Somalia facing food crisis, there was no strong commitment to avert the crisis.

“The number of people facing acute food shortages is increasing, but we are yet to see strong commitments and unified efforts to save lives. This is very concerning,” said Nasra Ismail, Director of Somalia NGO consortium. “We must strengthen our efforts and increase resources in responding to the needs of families and minimize human suffering.”

According to Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit April 2019 brief, 1.7 million people are currently facing acute food crisis (IPC Phase 3) and the situation is expected to deteriorate reaching an emergency (IPC Phase 4) by next month.

The worst affected areas according to the brief are Nugaal, Mudug, Galgaduud and Hiiraan regions.

The total number of people who do not have access to sufficient food has also increased from 4.6 to 4.9 million people which is at least 40% of the total population.

READ ALSO: UN warns of funding deficits as drought hits millions in Somalia

Somalia NGO Consortium called for urgent mobilisation of resources noting most families are yet to recover from the drought and remain significantly vulnerable.

“Our priority is to save lives and prevent the situation from deteriorating even further. We can only do this by investing more resources towards drought response interventions,” Ismail said.

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator George Conway warned early of slow donor response noting this would adversely affect efforts at stemming the tide of the drought.

“A major challenge right now is the underfunding of the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan, currently only funded to 19 percent for the year, which is very worrying with the current extent of the humanitarian crisis that is evolving,” said Conway.

According to the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), 2019, the UN had appealed for $1.08 billion but to date, only 19% which translates to $209 million has been received.