Over 850,000 people face acute food insecurity in Somalia: UN study

United Nations, Sep 1 (IANS) Somalia’s humanitarian situation remains “alarming” four years after a devastating famine with the number of people requiring emergency aid rising 17 percent to more than 850,000, according to the latest UN-managed food assessment study.

“The levels of food insecurity and malnutrition are critical,” said Peter de Clercq, UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, adding “Humanitarian actors and donors have prevented the situation being a lot worse than it is, but we all need to do more. ”

“The situation among internally displaced people is particularly worrying,” Xinhua quoted Clercq as saying on Monday.

In 2011, Somalia experienced a devastating famine, according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Things have since improved, but humanitarian needs remain vast and the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance continues to fluctuate around three million. The ability to absorb shocks — whether conflict or natural disasters — is very limited.

According to the Food Security and Nutrition Assessment for Somalia managed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), “widespread acute malnutrition persists across Somalia and large numbers of people will be acutely food insecure through December 2015.”

The results of assessment presented on Monday in the Somali capital of Mogadishu “indicate that the country’s humanitarian situation remains alarming,” OCHA said.

The latest findings from the joint countrywide seasonal assessment reveal that some 855,000 people across Somalia will be in “crisis and emergency” through December 2015.

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