FAO calls for urgent action to help Somali farmers and pastoralists

Millions of Somalis need assistance

Immediate action is needed in Somalia and the Horn of Africa to save the lives and livelihoods of millions of farmers and pastoralists who are facing a drought and conflict-induced crisis across the region.

This is the latest warning from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, following the declaration of famine in five regions in Somalia.

There are rising fears that unless action is taken urgently the famine could spread quickly across all regions of Southern Somalia and beyond.

FAO's Representative and Emergency Operations Coordinator for Somalia, Luca Alinovi, says the situation is extremely serious, even as Somalis expect some short rains in October.

"If we are not able in October to get the people back to the productive sector, we risk massive immigration outside of Somalia, which will become not only a major problem for Somalia itself but also a destabilising factor across the region. So, the immediate need is to make sure that the people have enough cash to purchase their food now, otherwise there will be people starving and probably dying, and at the same time to put them in the condition to go back to produce their own food by themselves."

FAO is seeking urgent funds to protect the most vulnerable households in Somalia.

The crisis in the Horn of Africa is the most severe food security emergency in the world today, with thousands of lives already lost since late last year, the agency says.

The fate of many more thousands remains in the balance.

Duration: 28″

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