Somalia will plunge back into famine if humanitarian aid is pulled out of the Horn of Africa country, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said in a statement Monday. The statement came ahead of the Somalia humanitarian conference that will take place in London on Tuesday.
NRC regional director Nigel Tricks urged the international community to take action. “The international community saved thousands of lives in Somalia last year, and helped stop a famine before it could happen,” he said. “But less humanitarian aid now threatens to throw the country back into a deeper crisis, even towards catastrophe.”
On Tuesday, diplomats, donor agencies, the UN and other delegations will gather in London for a high-level meeting on the humanitarian situation in Somalia, according to the statement.
“5.4 million Somalis need humanitarian aid this year. Over 300,000 children under age five are acutely malnourished, including 48,000 severely malnourished children who face an increased risk of death,” said the NRC.
According to the UN, 2.7 million people today live in what is described as a crisis or emergency phase of hunger.
To tackle forecasted drought and rebuild the war-torn East African country, the humanitarian community is reported to be in need of $1.5 billion.
More than 1.1 million Somalis have fled their homes due to drought and conflict in 2017 adding to the million people who were already displaced within the country from previous years, according to the NRC.