UN bolsters funding as Somalia grapples with severe flooding crisis

The United Nations humanitarian agency said Monday it has provided 5 million U.S. dollars in additional funding to help address the ongoing heavy rains and devastating flash floods in Somalia.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the latest funding is in conjunction with the earlier 25 million dollars allocation from the Somalia Humanitarian Fund and UN Central Emergency Response Fund.

Somalia is facing a flood emergency that has killed at least 96 people and affected more than 2.3 million others, according to the Somali government.

The impact of El Nino coupled with a positive Indian Ocean Dipole is expected to affect more people living in riverine areas and destroy 1.5 million hectares of farmland, according to the UN.

This is not the first time that Somalia has faced the deadly cycle of droughts and floods, as three consecutive years of flooding since 2018 displaced hundreds of thousands of people, the UN said.

Humanitarian workers are working around the clock to respond to the mounting needs, taking early action to mitigate the immediate impacts of El Nino and building communities’ resilience to future shocks. Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre has urged humanitarian agencies to act swiftly in response to the flood emergency affecting the country, especially in Jubaland.

El Nino-induced flash floods have caused significant devastation in riverine and low-lying districts across Gedo, Lower Jubba, and Middle Jubba regions. Jubaland is currently grappling with this humanitarian catastrophe and is in urgent need of support.

Abdi, who is on a tour of Jubaland, called for immediate assistance for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable communities in a dire humanitarian situation after being impacted by El Nino floods.

The prime minister on Sunday visited a temporary internal displaced persons’ camp in Luglow, located near Kismayo and home to thousands of families seeking shelter from the flooding along the Jubba River. “Jubaland is facing a flooding emergency. We must act swiftly. With countless vulnerable communities severely affected by El Nino floods, it is imperative that relief agencies step up and provide immediate aid. Time is of the essence,” he said.

Source: Xinhua

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