Drought Displaces 845,000 People In Ethiopia, Somalia: UN

UNITED NATIONS– The Ethiopia-Somalia drought has uprooted 845,000 people from their homes, and killed more than 1.5 million head of livestock in Ethiopia alone, a UN spokesman said yesterday.

“We and our (humanitarian) partners, are scaling up assistance to people affected by the drought, and have reached more than 2.7 million people with food assistance” in Ethiopia, said Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres. “Some 175,000 people have now been displaced from their homes.”

More than 120 metric tonnes of medicine and other supplies were dispatched last month, to the drought-affected areas of Ethiopia, Dujarric said. Humanitarians are distributing therapeutic food to treat malnourished children.

He said, in Somalia, 4.5 million people are affected, and about 670,000 fled their homes. In some of the worst affected areas, water prices spiked at a 72 percent increase over Nov, 2021.

The spokesman said, nearly half of the children under five years of age, more than 1.4 million children, are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition, due to the continuing drought.

“Despite support from donors and others, additional funding is urgently needed, since needs are expected to further increase,” he said. The Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia, seeking nearly 1.5 billion U.S. dollars, to help 5.5 million of the most vulnerable Somalis, is only 3.3 percent funded.