UN Reports Progress, Warns of Possible Outbreak in Somalia

Somali refugees at the Dadaab camp in Kenya. The United Nations has warned of a possible disease outbreak when anticipated rains arrive in Somalia in the next few months. Photo by: Internews Network / CC BY-NC-SA

The United Nations is reporting some progress in international efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in Somalia but has warned of a possible disease outbreak when anticipated rains arrive in the drought-hit country in the next few months.

Some 1.85 million Somalis have received famine relief, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a recent report. But OCHA also stressed that about 4 million of the country’s citizens remain in need of urgent assistance. The agency also added that at least 750,000 across East Africa are at risk of dying in the next four months if not provided with aid, Voice of America reports.

The upcoming rainy season, which starts October, is also feared to worsen instead of alleviate the humanitarian situation in Somalia. The World Health Organization warned the rains could fuel a spread of diarrhea, cholera and other waterborne diseases across the country.

Meanwhile, officials of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation have called for stronger cooperation among the United Nations, relief agencies and nontraditional humanitarian actors to support the process of transitioning Somalia relief initiatives to recovery programs. Among the nontraditional humanitarian actors the officials said the United Nations and its partners could tap are the youth, women and the diaspora.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.