- 265% increase in severely malnourished children under the age of 5 in one IRC clinic alone in Somalia between April-May 2022
- 200% price increase in fuel and malnutrition treatment since outbreak of war in Ukraine, severely impacting aid delivery – 230,000 people already living in famine conditions
- 7 million of a population of only 16 million at risk of famine in Somalia over next 2 months if aid is not immediately scaled up
Mogadishu, Somalia, July 7, 2022 — As the worst drought in decades ravages East Africa and the crisis in Ukraine impacts global fuel and food prices, IRC has seen a sharp rise in acute malnutrition admissions in IRC clinics across Somalia, with one clinic recording a 265% increase in admissions from April to May 2022.
Hashi Abdi, Supply Chain Manager for IRC Somalia, said:
“We have had to drastically reconsider our operations due to the sharp increase in prices and fuel over the last few months. When we do not have enough medical supplies in our clinics, we have to turn away the increasing number of patients that are in need of critical care and support. This is happening all the more frequently as life-saving aid is diverted to help Ukraine – leading to an even more drastic reduction in the aid we can deliver. As ever, this is impacting the most vulnerable the most. Without immediate international funding, a catastrophic famine is undoubtedly on the horizon for Somalia and the region as a whole.”
250,000 people, half of whom were children, died during the 2011 famine which came after three consecutive seasons without adequate rainfall and the humanitarian response plan was less than 50% funded. The 2022 humanitarian response plan for Somali food security is currently only 20% funded as we enter the fifth consecutive season without adequate rainfall, exacerbated by growing climate pressure. The IRC is calling on international leaders and donors to direct urgent and immediate funding to the drought in East Africa to avert looming famine.
The IRC is operational in the main areas of concern including Mogadishu, Puntland, south west and central Somalia, and is significantly scaling up our programming to support families with healthcare for malnourished children, unconditional cash transfers to help people quickly get the support they need, rehabilitation of boreholes and water sources as well as mobile health services to reach deeper into hard hit areas.
The IRC began working in Somalia in 1981 in the aftermath of the Somalia-Ethiopia conflict. Over the years operations faced several interruptions due to insecurity and civil unrest but has been operating continuously since 2007.
Notes to editors:
- The World Food Programme has warned that the number of people facing hunger in the Horn of Africa due to the drought might rise from 14 million to 20 million by the end of the year.
- Over 7 million people in Somalia are suffering from severe food insecurity (IPC Phase 3+) of which 230,000 people are living in catastrophic, famine-like conditions (IPC Phase 5). There is a likelihood of famine being declared in the coming months if humanitarian assistance is not scaled up immediately.
- In the nutrition clinic which saw a 265% increase in the number of malnutrition cases from April to May, 17 cases were recorded in April and 62 cases in May. On average in 2021, this IRC clinic recorded an average of 10-12 cases per month.
- Fuel prices have risen from 50 cents per gallon before the Ukraine crisis in February to $1.50 per gallon
Source: International Rescue Committee