Red Cross says needs $92m for humanitarian aid to Somalia

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Friday appealed for 92 million U.S. dollars to alleviate the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Somalia.

ICRC Global Director of Operations Dominik Stillhart told a media briefing in Nairobi that up to 6 million people are in urgent need of food in the Horn of African nation.

“We are appealing to the international community to extend assistance in order to avoid deaths from lack of food,” Stillhart said after visiting Somalia to access the humanitarian situation.

Stillhart noted that the main driver of food insecurity is the ongoing protracted conflict as well as the systematic lack of respect of international law and especially in conflict affected areas.

The humanitarian agency said that the real crisis is in the rural areas which have experienced two consecutive seasons of drought.

ICRC said that due to the prevailing conflict in Somalia there are 150,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the town of Baidoa, which is double the amount last year.

According to humanitarian agencies, up to 250,000 Somalis died due to the 2011 drought. “However, there is hope, the drought will end soon given the early signs from the current rainfall season,” he added.

He observed that even if the rains are good, there will be no immediate change as the resilience of the people needs to be built to overcome future shocks.

Since January, ICRC has reached 1 million beneficiaries in Somalia. ICRC is also appealing for 450 million from international donors to combat drought situation in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria.

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