US Ambassador to Ethiopia arrives in Jigjiga
A delegation led by the US Ambassador to Ethiopia Ms. #GitaBase accompanied by the head of the World Food Program in Ethiopia #Stevenwere and other officials arrived in the Somali region. The purpose of the visit is to understand the needs of the region, as there are reports of severe drought in many parts of the region.
The delegation landed at Garaad Wiil-Waal International Airport and was received by SRS officials led by President Mustafa Omer. After the reception, a meeting was held between officials led by the US Ambassador and the regional officials where current regional humanitarian updates were provided in the general and in particularly the IDPs situation in Qoloji camp.
After the meeting, Mrs. Gita Base visited the World Food Program (WFP) food warehouse in Jigjiga and proceeded to Qoloji IDPs to see the living conditions and needs of the IDPs living in Qoloji camp.
Report reaching SR News from many parts of the region indicate that water sources in many parts of the Somali region are drying up at a rapid rate as a looming drought intensifies, leaving 80 percent of families across the region without access to safe drinking water. Thousands of people are now reliant on emergency water trucking and unprotected wells or are forced to leave their homes in search of water.
More than half the Somali regional population is believed to have no enough food to eat and are resorting to harmful ways to cope with the drought crisis, such as depleting their livestock reserves to buy food and reducing the number of meals they have per day. The loss of livestock also means children have less access to milk and this further exposes them to the risk of malnutrition.
In addition to raging drought in the region, there has also been a devastating upsurge in locust invasions with swarms swiftly moving across the Somali region destroying crops and livestock pastures as they go and posing a huge threat to food security. The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is also taking a huge toll and pushing families to breaking point.
Without immediate humanitarian assistance, the drought crisis is likely to peak in June with no sight of the Gu’ rains that were expected in mid-March to date. Hence, the number of people in urgent need of humanitarian support in the Somali region is expected to soar approximately to more than 3 million.