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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo

19 Nov 2021

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Fatima Ahmed, 30, left her village near the coastal city of Berbera in Somalia because of drought. Credit: OCHA/Erich Ogoso

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 19 November 2021

Somalia

In a joint statement, the UN and the Federal Government in Somalia have warned that a rapidly worsening drought could lead to an “extreme situation” by April 2022 as climate projections show the country is facing a fourth consecutive failed rainfall season. “We must act now to prevent a slide into the crippling kind of drought and even famine conditions experienced in previous years. Those affected have already endured decades of conflict, climatic shocks and disease outbreaks”, said Adam Abdelmoula, UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.

About 2.3 million people– 18 per cent of the population– are already facing serious water, food and pasture shortages, shortages as water pans and boreholes have dried up. Nearly 100,000 people especially in central and southern areas have abandoned their homes in search of food, water and pasture for their livestock. The number of people who need assistance and protection in Somalia is forecast to increase by 30 per cent from 5.9 million today to about 7.7 million in 2022. Over 70 per cent of all Somalis live below the poverty line.

Local communities, the authorities and the UN are ramping up the response and reprogramming their activities to address the emerging needs. But critical response services like water, sanitation and hygiene are only 20 per cent funded. The UN Central Emergency Response Fund is allocating US$8 million for the drought response and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund is making  $6 million available for the response.

Somalia is on the frontline of climate change and has experienced more than 30 climate-related hazards since 1990, including 12 droughts and 19 floods. The full statement is available online

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Humanitarian Coordinator for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, David McLachlan-Karr, has condemned  a deadly attack in which 35 people were killed in the village of Kisunga,  Beni territory, North Kivu Province.
At least 4,000 were also displaced in the attack on 11 November. The Kisunga health center was looted and destroyed, depriving 12,000 people of health care services. This most recent act of violence, one of the deadliest of the year, comes on top of countless other violations suffered by the civilian population of Beni territory.

In Beni territory alone, 798,000 people are internally displaced. These people and their host communities can only survive or support themselves with the support of the humanitarian community. Despite the volatile situation, humanitarian organizations have provided food security assistance to more than 458,000 people across the territory since January 2021.

However, the needs remain high, with the recent Ebola outbreak adding to the challenges. To scale up the response, it is critical that humanitarian partners have safe, timely and sustainable access to all people in need. As a result of the violence, humanitarian partners have had to suspend their operations in the most affected areas, others cannot implement them. Thousands of families are not receiving sufficient food, clean water, health care, and shelter from the weather," McLachlan-Karr said.

The Humanitarian Coordinator appealed to all parties to the conflict to respect their obligations and protect civilians and humanitarian actors. The full statement is available in French online