UN says Somalia faces a `dire hunger emergency’ but aid has been cut over lack of funding

Jun 22, 2023, 5:14 PM | Updated: 5:34 pm

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Somalia’s “dire hunger emergency” is spiraling upward with one-third of the population expected to face crisis or worse levels of food needs, but the U.N. has been forced to drastically cut food assistance because of a lack of funding, the head of the World Food Program said Thursday.

Cindy McCain told the U.N. Security Council the latest food security data show that over 6.6 million Somalis desperately need assistance including 40,000 “fighting for survival in famine-like conditions.”

But she said WFP was forced to cut monthly food assistance, which had reached a record 4.7 million people in December, to just 3 million people at the end of April – “and without an immediate cash injection, we’ll have to cut our distribution lists again in July to just 1.8 million per month.”

McCain, who visited Somalia last month, said she saw “how conflict and climate change are conspiring to destroy the lives and livelihoods of millions of Somalis.” She said the country’s longest drought on record, which killed millions of livestock and decimated crops, recently gave way to disastrous flash floods in the south.

Urging donors to be as generous as they were and hauling Somalia “back from the abyss of famine in 2022,” McCain warned that the survival of millions of Somalis is at stake.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited Somalia in April “to ring the alarm” and appealed for “massive international support” for Somalia.

But the results of a high-level donors’ conference for three Horn of Africa countries – Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya – on May 24 were very disappointing. It raised less than $1 billion of the more than $5 billion organizers were hoping for to help over 30 million people.

Only in the past few years has Somalia begun to find its footing after three decades of chaos from warlords to the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group and the emergence of Islamic State-linked extremist groups. Last May, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who served as Somalia’s president between 2012 and 2017, was returned to the top office by legislators after a protracted contest.

Somalia has faced numerous attacks from al-Shabab and recently the government embarked on what has been described as the most significant offensive against the extremist group in more than a decade.

Catriona Laing, the new U.N. special representative for Somalia, told the council that the government’s operations have degraded al-Shabab militarily and dislodged its fighters from a number of areas which is “a notable achievement.”

But Laing said al-Shabab remains a significant threat,” pointing to “a recent resurgence in the scale, tempo and geographic distribution” of its attacks including a June 9 attack on the Pearl Beach Hotel in the capital Mogadishu that killed nine people.

The African Union has a force in Somalia providing support to government forces battling al-Shabab. Last year, the Security Council unanimously approved a new AU transition mission known as ATMIS, to support the Somalis until their forces take full responsibility for the country’s security at the end of 2024.

Laing said the drawdown of ATMIS and handover are proceeding, but her initial assessment “is that the complexity, the constraints, and pace of the transition process presents risks, (and) this will be challenging.”

National News

Associated Press

Lawmakers author proposal to try to cut food waste in half by 2030

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A bipartisan coalition of U.S. lawmakers has introduced a proposal designed to cut food waste in half by 2030. The lawmakers submitted their legislation on Thursday and said it would improve collaboration between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and regional waste prevention and food recovery organizations. The lawmakers said the proposal […]

9 minutes ago

Associated Press

Chicago man gets life in prison for role in 2016 home invasion that killed 5 people

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man convicted of fatally shooting five people during a 2016 home invasion has been sentenced to life in prison. A Cook County judge on Thursday sentenced Lionel Parks, 35, who was convicted in July in the December 2016 killings at a drug dealer’s home on the city’s South Side, the […]

17 minutes ago

FILE - Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., arrives for a vote on Capitol Hill, Sept. 6, 2023 in Washington. ...

Associated Press

New Jersey Sen. Menendez and his wife are indicted on bribery charges

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife have been indicted on charges of bribery.

50 minutes ago

Associated Press

Authorities search for suspect wanted in killing who was mistakenly released from Indianapolis jail

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A man wanted for a 2021 killing in Minnesota was mistakenly released from jail in Indianapolis last week and authorities are now offering a reward of up to $10,000 as they continue searching for him. Kevin Mason, 28, was arrested in Indianapolis on Sept. 11 but a preliminary review found he was […]

2 hours ago

A man holds an iPhone next to an Amazon Echo, center, and a Google Home, right, in New York on June...

Associated Press

Amazon unveils a ‘smarter and more conversational’ Alexa amid AI race among tech companies

Amazon has unveiled a slew of gadgets and an update to its popular voice assistant Alexa, infusing it with more generative AI features to better compete with other tech companies who’ve rolled out flashy chatbots.

3 hours ago

FILE - Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, left, shakes hands with Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng duri...

Associated Press

United States and China launch economic and financial working groups with aim of easing tensions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department and China’s Ministry of Finance launched a pair of economic working groups on Friday in an effort to ease tensions and deepen ties between the nations. Led by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Vice Premier He Lifeng, the working groups will be divided into economic and financial segments. […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

UN says Somalia faces a `dire hunger emergency’ but aid has been cut over lack of funding