World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Somalia: Conflict & uneven rainfall prolong food insecurity

Somalia: conflict and uneven rainfall prolong food insecurity

Geneva/Nairobi, 29 June 2012 – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is concerned that large sections of the Somali population remain highly vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition one year after the peak of the drought crisis. The situation is set to persist owing to the combined effects of the drought and ongoing conflict.

"Thanks to humanitarian efforts and a very good last harvest, the overall nutritional situation has improved since last year. However, many Somalis still struggle to meet their basic needs, and malnutrition rates remain alarmingly high," said Olivier Humbert-Droz, the deputy head of the ICRC's Somalia delegation. "On top of this, continuing armed confrontations force people to flee their homes or disrupt food production and other economic activities."

"The April-to-June rainfall was below average in some areas and poorly distributed over time, thus jeopardizing the capacity of many households that grow crops or raise livestock to meet their needs," explained Mr Humbert-Droz. "This capacity has been further undermined by widespread armed clashes and poor security conditions."

Since the beginning of the 2011 drought and nutritional crisis, the ICRC, with frequent support from the Somali Red Crescent Society, has helped approximately two million people meet their essential food needs through large-scale relief efforts in south-central Somalia and Puntland. The recently completed distribution for 764,000 drought-stricken farmers, livestock herders and people displaced by fighting was designed to provide a two-month supply of basic food items, such as rice, beans, vegetable oil and corn soya blend, to help them bridge the "hunger gap" period leading up to the July harvest. Those receiving the food were able to maintain assets vital to their livelihoods that they might otherwise have had to sell at deflated prices simply to have something to eat.

"The ICRC has been responding to both emergency and long-term needs in Somalia with projects designed to restore or improve livelihoods and economic security for a population weakened by years of conflict and recurrent natural calamities," said Mohamed Sheikh-Ali, who coordinates the ICRC's economic security programmes in the country. "Our aim is to improve self-sufficiency. Barring calamities, those receiving aid are set to have enough food to cover their basic household needs for six months at least."

While food distributions are temporarily required to relieve immediate suffering, the ICRC supports communities in their efforts to strengthen and sustain their own means of support. During the past year, more than 640,000 people have benefited from action taken by the ICRC to boost food production for people who grow crops or rear livestock, for instance through distributions of agricultural inputs and upgrades to irrigation channels. In addition, almost 200,000 people have benefited from improved access to water – another scarce resource in Somalia – during the same period.

Over the past two decades, the ICRC has been responding to emergency needs of the Somali population as well as helping communities to overcome the cumulative effects of continuing misfortune and retain their ability to fend for themselves.

For further information, please visit our website:


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


ITUC: Nobel Prize In Economics Explodes Minimum Wage And Jobs Myth

The prize was awarded to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens for real-world research in the 1990s that demonstrated, empirically, that the idea touted by conservative economists that higher minimum wages mean fewer jobs is not based on fact... More>>

Science Media Centre: New South Wales Opens Up For Fully-vaccinated – Aus SMC Expert Reaction
Sydney has partially eased Covid-19 restrictions for fully-vaccinated individuals after NSW reached its target of 70 per cent of the population double-dosed. The Australian Science Media Centre has asked experts about the possible risks of the country opening up again...More>>

Nobel Peace Prize: Journalists Who ‘Speak Truth To Power’ Recognized

Two campaigning journalists were awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, which UN Secretary-General António Guterres said was recognition that a free press is “essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights – and the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions”...

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>

COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>

UN: Global Leaders Set To Act To Increase Energy Access While Reducing Emissions At First UN Energy Summit In 40 Years

Significant new commitments for financing clean energy, increasing renewables and improving access to electricity are expected to be announced on 24 September at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy... More>>