SOMALIA / DROUGHT

31-May-2022 00:03:07
Accompanying Somalia’s newly appointed Drought Envoy on his first field visit today, the United Nations’ top humanitarian official for the Horn of Africa country warned of the devastating outlook for millions of affected Somalis amidst heightened risks of famine. UNSOM
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STORY: SOMALIA / DROUGHT
TRT: 03:07
SOURCE: UNSOM
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNSOM ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 31 MAY 2022, BAIDOA, SOMALIA
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula and Somalia’s Special Envoy for the Drought Response, Abdirahman Abdishakur, boarding a plane at Aden Abdulle International airport
2. Med shot, delegation boarding a plane to Baidoa
3. Med shot, Abdelmoula boarding a plane to Baidoa
4. Close up, Southwest State’s Baidoa district as seen from inside the plane
5. Med shot, Abdelmoula and Somalia’s newly appointed Special Envoy for Drought Response, Abdirahman Abdishakur, on a flight to Baidoa
6. Med shot, Abdelmoula and Abdishakur getting off the plane on arrival for a field visit in Baidoa
7. Wide shot, Abdelmoula and Abdishakur walking
8. Med shot, delegation driving to a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs)
9. Pan right, ‘ADC’ camp for internally displaced people (IDP)
10. Wide shot, Abdelmoula and Abdishakur speaking with internally displaced people
11. Close up, Abdelmoula.
12. Med shot, mother walking with her child on her back at the ‘ADC’ IDP camp in Baidoa
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Adam Abdelmoula, Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia:
“The situation is extremely dire and grim: 7.1 million people are going to be affected by this drought situation before the end of this year. Unless we scale-up and step-up our response, unfortunately, many, many people – including at least 370,000 children – will perish before the end of the month of June. That tells you how dire the situation is.”
14. Wide shot, makeshift shelters at the ‘ADC’ camp for IDPs
15. Close up, A makeshift shelter at the ‘ADC’ camp for IDPs
16. Med shot, mothers standing outside of their makeshift shelters at an IDP camp
17. Med shot, elderly woman with children seated outside of their makeshift home
18. Wide shot, mothers and children at the ‘ADC’ camp for IDPs
19. SOUNDBITE (English) Abdirahman Abdishakur, Special Envoy for the Drought Response in Somalia:
“I am here to mobilize, as much as possible, resources, and coordinate the effort of humanitarian assistance. Baidoa is where people who are most affected have arrived recently – close to half of them who are displaced by drought are here in Baidoa. We call on the international community to double their efforts and support Somali people in this difficult time.”
22. Med shot, mothers and children at the ‘ADC’ camp for IDPs
23. Close up, young girl with her mother
24. SOUNDBITE (English) Adam Abdelmoula, Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia:
“With the limited resources that we have, we have only been able, between the months of January and April, to reach 2.4 million out of all those in need of humanitarian assistance.”
25. Med shot, ‘ADC’ camp for IDPs
26. Wide shot, newly arrived internally displaced persons at the ‘ADC’ camp for IDPs people
STORYLINE
Accompanying Somalia’s newly appointed Drought Envoy on his first field visit today, the United Nations’ top humanitarian official for the Horn of Africa country today (31 May) warned of the devastating outlook for millions of affected Somalis amidst heightened risks of famine.

“The situation is extremely dire and grim: 7.1 million people are going to be affected by this drought situation before the end of this year,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula.
“Unless we scale-up and step-up our response, unfortunately, many, many people – including at least 330,000 children – will perish before the end of the month of June. That tells you how dire the situation is,” he added.

As of May, according to a recent report of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), some 6.1 million Somalis have been affected by the drought emergency. Of that amount, 771,400 have been displaced from their homes in search of water, food and pasture; the majority are women and children. The outlook has worsened due to the prospects of a fifth consecutive failed rainy season.

Abdelmoula was speaking at the ‘ADC’ camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in the Baidoa district of Somalia’s Southwest State. He was accompanying Somalia’s Special Envoy for Drought Response, Abdirahman Abdishakur, who was appointed by the Somali president in late May, on his visit to an IDP camp.

OCHA has stated that during April to mid-May this year, light to moderate rain was recorded in parts of southern, central and north-western Somalia, and there were localized storms and flash flooding in some areas.

But the amount of rain was below average, poorly distributed and insufficient to alleviate the current drought conditions.

As a result of the poor rains, Somalia is facing a fourth consecutive failed rainy season and a heightened risk of localized famine in six areas – including in Southwest State – particularly if food prices continue to rise and humanitarian assistance is not sustained to reach the most vulnerable people.

Additionally, the next rainy season is projected to be below average, meaning the drought emergency will worsen. As the country faces the risk of famine in those six areas, humanitarian entities are transitioning the thrust of their activities from drought response to famine prevention, re-orienting responses to target the most vulnerable populations and developing a famine prevention plan.

Southwest State’s Baidoa district is one of the areas of Somalia that has been hit hardest by the current drought.

Since the beginning of the year, 230,000 people have been displaced into Southwest State. Its Bay region has the highest number of people experiencing acute food insecurity; this is in addition to high rates of malnutrition, particularly in Baidoa IDP camps. Since March, cases of acute watery diarrhoea have been rising, with a cumulative total 2,279 cases, including 11 deaths, reported since January this year.
“I am here to mobilize, as much as possible, resources, and coordinate the effort of humanitarian assistance. Baidoa is where people who are most affected have arrived recently – close to half of them who are displaced by drought are here in Baidoa,” said Abdishakur at the ‘ADC’ camp. “We call on the international community to double their efforts and support Somali people in this difficult time.”

Abdelmoula, who also serves as the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Somalia and UN Resident Coordinator, noted that the world body and its partners can only do so much without more resources.

The funding for this year’s Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia, which seeks about $1.5 billion to assist 5.5 million of the most vulnerable Somalis, remains low at 15.7 per cent as of 20 May.

“With the limited resources that we have, we have only been able, between the months of January and April, to reach 2.4 million out of all those in need of humanitarian assistance,” the Humanitarian Coordinator said.

The Special Envoy and the Humanitarian Coordinator intend to carry out more joint field visits in the near future.
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