Nairobi, Kenya 7, March, 2017- Somalia is once again on the brink of famine. Rain has not fallen in parts of the country for three consecutive seasons, leaving agriculture and livestock dependent households destitute, and men, women and children at the verge of starvation. The Somalia Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Haire has confirmed over 100 deaths by starvation in Bay region in a 48 hour period. As of February 2017, an estimated 6.2 million people are food insecure; this represents half of the population of Somalia. After the famine of 2011, the international community said ‘never again’; a massive scale-up is underway to support this commitment, but current resources are insufficient.
As of February, 2017, ACTED has ramped up its emergency operations focusing on cash and water. As the lean season reaches its peak, ACTED will deliver to more than 6,500 drought-affected households (approximately 39,000 people) in 4 regions of Somalia over the next four months. Cash is a proven means to assist households to meet their basic needs such as food, water, shelter and healthcare and restoring dignity. It is hoped this will help prevent populations from slipping into famine and stem the tide of distress migration currently taking place on a large scale from rural to urban areas.
ACTED is carrying out water trucking to 12,000 households in Sanaag and Baidoa to provide immediate access to water as well as rehabilitating existing water infrastructure for sustained access to water for these populations promoting good hygiene and sanitation to reduce disease outbreak. ACTED will continue providing immediate access to safe water for severely drought-affected households to save lives. Populations in affected areas are resorting to drinking less or unsafe water leading to widespread outbreaks of water-related diseases, which further contribute to malnutrition, especially in children.
Given the magnitude of the crisis and its impact on the Somali people, we urgently need to expand these interventions to save more lives,” said Valerie Ceylon, ACTED Somalia Country Director. “Additional support will be needed to cope with the crisis and ensure famine never happens again.”
In the complex and challenging operational environment of Somalia, NGO ACTED remains strongly committed to delivering in a responsible manner in terms of security and financial risk management. ACTED is active and experienced in the geographical areas hardest hit by the current crisis with deep reach into hard to access areas with limited presence of humanitarian actors. Over the years, ACTED has established solid relationships with key stakeholders and communities as well as stringent control mechanisms, monitoring procedures, quality assurance and beneficiary accountability systems.
As the effects of dry season continue to spike, ACTED will continue conducting emergency interventions with the hopes of transitioning into recovery phase should the Gu rains arrive on time.
ACTED – Since 1993, as an international non-governmental organization, ACTED has been committed to immediate humanitarian relief to support those in urgent need and protect people’s dignity, while co-creating longer-term opportunities for sustainable growth and fulfilling people’s potential. In Kenya, ACTED is also intervening in the ongoing drought to respond to the rising humanitarian crisis where an estimated 2.7 million people are in urgent need of food assistance. ACTED in Somalia is committed to saving lives to avert an impending famine through supporting immediate access to food, water and hygiene in emergencies as well as support to livelihoods and water supply in the longer term.