The Tanzania Times
Eastern Africa News Network

Hostile climate displaces 4 million People in Somalia

Hostile Climate seems to be the new war currently displacing millions in Somalia.

Nearly 4 million people have been displaced in the Horn of Africa as of February 28, 2023.

It is being feared that more than 300,000 others could be newly displaced in Somalia by July 2023.

The Horn of Africa is reported to have entered its sixth consecutive rainy season without any precipitation.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reveals that the last five rainy seasons have been deficit.

Meanwhile the rains from March to May are also likely to be average, according to the joint statement released by multilateral agencies and another report by a humanitarian initiative, REACH.

Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia have been experiencing an ongoing drought since late 2020.

A humanitarian crisis has been brewing since then and is now even more worrying for Somalia. The number of displacements in the country has peaked to a new high of 3.8 million people.

Since January 2023, at least 288,000 people have become internally displaced in the country due to conflict and drought according to UNHCR estimates.

This is very close to total 305,000 new displacements during the entire year of 2016.   

Failure of rains and conflict in Somalia could further force people to migrate to major cities and towns, especially Baidoa and Mogadishu.

Close to 300,000 people could be newly displaced by July 2023, according to the International Organization for Migrants (IOM).

Somalia migrants also seek refuge in drought-affected areas of Kenya and Ethiopia.

“Most of the newly displaced might never go back to their places of origin because the land can no longer provide, and insecurity will only increase as competition for the already scarce resources grows. As a result, entire families will be born and raised in informal settlements amid unsuitable living conditions.”

Ugochi Daniels – The IOM deputy director general.

Daniels called upon donors to invest in solutions to prevent further displacement and address the dire living situation of the millions affected by the ongoing drought and conflict.

There is a need to invest in the places of origin to foster resilience and to prevent further displacement from happening. So, the IOM projects are aimed towards improving their access to land and long-term housing, social services through an inclusive planning process with local authorities and communities.

This lays the foundation for long-term development planning, the statement noted.

An amount of USD 137 million needed is needed to help displaced people in the Horn of Africa.

“Over eight million people need food assistance and around 332,000 urgently need food, otherwise their lives are at risk,” stated Olga Sarrado, the UNHCR spokesperson.

The UNHCR plans to provide basic relief including emergency shelter and household items to new refugees and displaced people in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

The funds will be utilized for refurbishing the existing water and sanitation systems. This is important as outbreaks of cholera, a water-borne disease, are on the rise in these countries.

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