Catastrophic Consequences of Unrelenting Floods
Mogadishu, Somalia. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) issues an urgent alert in response to the catastrophic flooding wreaking havoc across the Hiraan, Bakool, Bay, and Gedo regions of Somalia. Unprecedented heavy seasonal Deyr rains have led to devastating consequences, affecting over 1.77 million people, displacing 649,000 individuals, claiming lives, and destroying homes and livelihoods.
Impact of El Niño-Triggered Floods Amidst Prolonged Drought
Compounding the impact of prolonged drought, El Niño-triggered rainfall over the last month has resulted in devastating floods, submerging farmlands, and damaging critical infrastructure. The heavy rainfall is anticipated to affect up to 1.5 million hectares of cropland, worsening the already dire humanitarian situation in the region.
Humanitarian Crisis Deepens as Heavy Rainfall Persists
With above-normal rainfall anticipated until the end of 2023, the humanitarian crisis deepens, impacting 4.3 million people. By year-end, a quarter of the population will face crisis-level hunger or worse. Urgent humanitarian aid and funding are imperative to address immediate needs, protect livelihoods, and support host communities and displaced individuals.
IRC Somalia Director Calls for Immediate Action
Richard Crothers, IRC Somalia Country Director, emphasizes the urgency of immediate action and coordinated efforts. The IRC is committed to safeguarding affected populations, but a swift and substantial increase in funding is crucial to preventing further loss of lives and protecting livelihoods.
Urgent Funding Needed to Mitigate Ongoing Flood Impact
As the forecast predicts continued heavy rainfall, there is a critical need for swift and substantial funding to address the growing humanitarian needs. Dwindling funding at this crucial juncture will hinder humanitarian agencies’ ability to assist, aggravating severe outcomes for the affected population.
Climate Injustice Unfolding on the Frontlines in Somalia
Crothers points out the climate injustice faced by those on the frontlines of the crisis, emphasizing the disproportionate impact on communities that have done the least to contribute to climate change. As COP28 approaches, there is an opportunity to address climate impacts on conflict-affected, climate-vulnerable communities and bridge financial gaps.
IRC’s On-the-Ground Efforts to Alleviate Impact
Nearly half a million affected individuals are in Southwest State, with others in Jubbaland, Puntland, and Galmudug. Baidoa, facing severe flash floods, is a critical concern. The IRC actively supports communities, reinforces riverbanks, and prepositions basic items to address immediate needs.
IRC’s Ongoing Operations in Somalia
The IRC, operational in Somalia since 1981, is scaling up operations to provide healthcare, unconditional cash transfers, rehabilitation of water sources, and mobile health services. Despite past interruptions due to insecurity, the IRC has been operating continuously since 2007, working in Mogadishu, Puntland, southwest, and central Somalia.