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Multiple shocks resulting from conflict and climate change aspects like the drought, floods, and Somalia have left many families struggling to find food and water.
In Mogadishu’s Kahda district, two families – Faadumo Haji Ahmed’s and Ifrah Muse’s – are facing tough choices as they try to survive amidst the ongoing crisis.
Despite the recent rainfall in the country, Faadumo and her family continue to experience challenges in accessing nutritious food for their ten children. Her husband has returned to Janale to commence planting, but the future is still uncertain. The entire family cannot return to their small seasonal farmland in Janale due to the unpredictability of the harvest and the lack of available food in the meantime. The situation remains precarious for the family as they navigate the harsh realities of living in a food-insecure environment.
“Where can we go back to? The farm is not ready, and we do not have food available there, we do not want to put our children at risk.” She expressed.
“It is better to stay here, where we receive assistance from our neighbors and humanitarian actors once in a while.” She adds.
As the main breadwinner, Faadumo works as a laborer in Bakara market to support her family, but her income is not sufficient to meet their basic needs. She used to leave home for laundry work every morning before switching to a basket labor job in the same market. However, she notes that this job opportunity has reduced, as people now prefer to use machines instead of hiring human labor. This has made it even more difficult for Faadumo to earn enough money to support her family.
Faadumo and her family have expressed immense gratitude for the presence of Action Against Hunger in their camps. The closest health center, Garasbaley Health Center, has provided her family with essential treatments and nutrition services, which have been instrumental in helping them cope with the challenging living conditions. Faadumo’s appreciation for the humanitarian efforts funded by the European Union Humanitarian Aid is evident, as she recognizes the crucial role the donor and the Caafimaad Plus Consortium play in supporting families like hers during times of crisis.
Faadumo speaks highly of Awale, who has provided them with vital medical assistance on many occasions.
“Whenever my children became ill, I rushed them to Awale.” She said,
Not far from Faadumo’s home is Ifrah Muse’s family, who were pastoralists that have relocated from the Bengal village around the Qoryoley district in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia. Their herds were decimated by the drought, leaving them with no source of income or food. Her husband works as a laborer using a wheelbarrow in the city, but his income is inconsistent. Ifrah and her family rely on support from the Garasbaley health center, where her youngest daughter was treated for pneumonia, and where she was once enrolled in the nutrition program. However, their situation remains dire, as they struggle to put food on the table and do not know where their next meal will come from.
Action Against Hunger is working tirelessly to provide support to families like Faadumo’s and Ifrah’s. In Kahda district alone, the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate is serious, and stands at 15.1%, according to recent data from FSNAU Somalia. With a population of approximately 650,000 people, this means that tens of thousands of individuals are at risk of malnutrition and hunger. Action Against Hunger’s intervention is providing vital support to these families, including access to nutritious food, health services, and livelihood programs.
The impact of the drought in Somalia has been catastrophic, and families like Faadumo’s and Ifrah’s are just two examples of the approximately 8.3 million people in the country who are struggling to survive amidst this crisis, according to a report by FSNAU in April 2023. The report also highlights that out of this figure, 1.8 million are malnourished children, and an estimated 477,700 children are likely to suffer from severe malnutrition.
This concerning statistic is a stark reminder of the persistent and pervasive issue of food insecurity in the country, which poses a significant threat to the health and well-being of the most vulnerable members of society.
On top of the above crisis, the recent flooding of the two main rivers, Shabelle and Jubba, has added a devastating effect on the population, resulting in the displacement of 219,000 people living and farming along the rivers like Bardhere, Beledweyne among other districts. This has created an additional crisis for a population that was already struggling due to the prolonged drought. The situation is particularly dire for those who have lost their homes and livelihoods, and the flooding has only exacerbated their vulnerability.
To address the ongoing crisis humanitarian partners and donors need to work collaboratively to tackle the root causes of food insecurity and provide immediate and sustained support to affected communities. Action Against Hunger is already providing vital support to families affected by the crisis in Somalia, including emergency food and nutrition assistance, access to safe water and sanitation, and critical healthcare services. Additionally, the organization is implementing long-term solutions that build resilience and reduce vulnerability to future shocks.
However, the scale and complexity of the crisis in Somalia require a concerted effort from all humanitarian partners and donors to ensure that families like Faadumo’s and Ifrah’s receive the support they need to survive and thrive.
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