UN: UN boosts El Nino preparedness, relief in Somalia, urges more funding

New York, US (PANA) - Efforts have been ramped up recently to mitigate the impact of floods
and droughts in Somalia, driven by the El Nino phenomenon between now and December,
which may worsen the food security and humanitarian situations, the UN said on Tuesday.

The UN also stressed the urgent need for more financial support to continue its relief work in the country.

Mr. Peter de Clercq, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia, in a statement, said:
"Humanitarian partners have developed contingency plans and are scaling up preparations,  including pre-positioning aid supplies and boats in areas most likely to be affected by flooding."

According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), El Nino could cause devastating effects in Somalia, such as heavy rains and flooding along Juba and Shabelle rivers, flash floods in central Somalia and Puntland, and worsening droughts in parts of Somaliland, which will put over 600,000 people at risk.

OCHA noted that these impacts, however, might be severe for the vulnerable communities already facing dire humanitarian situations in Somalia, and over 3 million people need humanitarian assistance, 1.1 million of whom are internally displaced.

In that regard, Mr. de Clercq said: "Since communities in the flood-prone areas will be the first to respond, partners are working with local authorities and community leadership to strengthen local response capacity, reinforce river embankments and raise awareness, including through distribution of climate monitoring information."

"An initial US$30 million is required to strengthen preparedness and kick start immediate response in 2015," he said, adding that some donations have been received for the contingency plan as aid agencies continue to monitor the situation.

Previous El Nimo events have caused massive flooding in Somalia, and some 900,000 people were affected in 1997-98 and over 440,000 people were affected in 2006-7.

The UN said that effects this year could extend several months into 2016.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 13Oct2015

13 october 2015 14:34:54

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