Al-Shabaab blockades are making the humanitarian crisis in Somalia worse by preventing access to essential supplies and services in the Horn of Africa. This is compounding the problems that the Somali people are already facing, and making it even more difficult for aid organisations to provide assistance. The situation is becoming increasingly dire, and it is essential that action is taken to address the blockades and allow humanitarian assistance to reach those who need it most.
The humanitarian situation in Bakool, southwestern Somalia, is dire. The region has been under an al-Shabaab blockade for more than a decade, and the only way to reach people in need of assistance is by air or using donkey carts to transport food. This is a very difficult and dangerous undertaking, as al-Shabaab is known to attack and kill those who attempt to break the blockade. The people of Bakool are in desperate need of food, water, and other supplies, and the situation is only getting worse as the drought continues. It is crucial that humanitarian aid be allowed into the region so that these people can receive the help they so desperately need.
Adam Ali, a 38-year-old businessman and father of eight who is currently in the capital Mogadishu, said that the people in the region are in dire condition. He explained that there is little to no food, water, or medical supplies, and that many people are suffering. He urged the international community to do something to help the people of the region, as they are in dire need of assistance.
The blockade is worsening and families have been suffering under a devastating drought for the past four years, said Ali, adding that the drought is the worst he has ever seen.
“I have a lot of family there, was born and raised there, and I know the situation. The people in the region are facing a double-edged sword – the drought and the al-Shabaab blockade,” he said.
Ali said that the blockade has made it impossible for people to get food, water, and other essentials, and that the situation is only getting worse. He called on the international community to do more to help the people of the region, who are facing a dire situation.
The current humanitarian restrictions and blockade in Somalia are having a devastating impact on the population, and if the government does not take action to improve the situation, many more people will die from hunger or illness. The lack of food and clean water is already taking a toll on the health of the people, and with the current conditions, it is only going to get worse. The government needs to act now to help the people of Somalia, or many more will perish.
Omar Atu, mayor of Bakool’s provincial capital Hudur, said that last week al-Shabaab terrorists burned more than four donkey carts carrying desperately needed food supplies to the region. This is just the latest in a string of attacks that the terrorist group has carried out in an attempt to starve the people of Bakool into submission.
Al-Shabaab has been targeting humanitarian aid workers and supplies for years, but the situation has become even more dire in recent months as the group has stepped up its campaign of violence and terror. In addition to burning food supplies, al-Shabaab has also attacked convoys carrying medical supplies and other vital supplies to the people of Bakool.
The neighbouring region of Gedo has also been affected by the al-Shabaab blockade and humanitarian restrictions. Ali Yussuf Abdullahi, spokesperson for Gedo’s regional administration, said that although the situation there is different, they have seen al-Shabaab terrorists restricting humanitarian activities. He said that the people of Gedo are struggling to access essential commodities like food and medicine, and that the situation is becoming increasingly dire. He called on the international community to do more to help the people of Gedo, and to pressure al-Shabaab to lift the humanitarian restrictions.
The terrorists also killed several engineers who were digging a water well in the region, he said. This is in addition to the many civilians that they have killed in their campaign of terror.
He said the terror group’s main aim is to pressure the local population into abandoning their support for the government. This is why they have been attacking civilians and infrastructure in an attempt to disrupt life in the region.
“The terrorist group is hurting people by stopping humanitarian aid from reaching the areas they control and imposing a blockade on government-controlled areas,” he said. This is making it very difficult for people in the region to get the help they need.
The terrorist group is hurting people by stopping humanitarian aid from reaching the areas they control and imposing a blockade on government-controlled areas,” he said. This is having a devastating effect on innocent civilians who are caught in the middle of the conflict.
“Two months ago, the group killed 11 people who were engineers, including foreigners, just because they were building and digging a water well,” he added. This just goes to show how barbaric and ruthless the group is. They are not interested in helping people, only in causing destruction.
The Hiran region, which has seen an uprising after al-Shabaab terrorists destroyed water wells and burned vehicles carrying food supplies, has also been affected by the conflict. However, the government said it had liberated large parts of the region from the group’s control. This has led to an increase in the number of people displaced, as well as a worsening of the humanitarian situation.
Speaking to reporters, Mahas District Commissioner Mumin Mohamed Halane said that the Somali people are fed up with the al-Shabaab militant group’s blockade and extortion tactics.
“We have liberated our areas, and wherever they are, people are getting the humanitarian assistance they need. We will continue fighting because we are fighting to save lives,” he said.
Halane praised the work of the Somali National Army and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces in driving al-Shabaab out of liberated areas. He said the Somali people are determined to rid their country of the militant group and its extremist ideology.
Overall humanitarian situation
Climate change is making life difficult for farmers in Somalia. Four seasons of below-average rainfall have constrained the supply of locally grown food in markets across the country. This has led to an increase in the price of food, and many Somalis are struggling to afford the basic staples that they need to survive. Drought conditions are also making it difficult for people to access clean water, and this is leading to an increase in the spread of waterborne diseases. The situation is only likely to get worse in the future, as the effects of climate change continue to be felt across the Horn of Africa.
Somalia is facing a severe food crisis due to a severe drought that has devastating crops and livestock. Estimates suggest that the rainy season in April-June and the off-season September-October harvest were both 50% below the long-term average, according to the UN.
Soaring food prices in the international market have also worsened the situation in the country. The UN is appealing for $885 million in aid to help some 4.5 million people in the country who are facing hunger.
The combination of reduced local food supply and skyrocketing global food prices has resulted in record-high food prices in markets in Somalia. This has had a devastating impact on the residents of Somalia, who are struggling to afford basic necessities. According to the UN, more than half of the population is now classified as “food insecure,” meaning they do not have reliable access to enough food to lead a healthy life.
The Somali government has declared a state of emergency, but it is unclear how they will be able to address the problem. The international community has donated some food aid, but it is not enough to meet the needs of the Somali people. Unless something changes, the food crisis in Somalia is likely to continue, with devastating consequences.
Millions facing starvation
Currently, there are over 6.7 million people on the brink of starvation in Somalia, said Ishaku Mshelia, deputy emergency coordinator for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) office in Somalia.
He said counterinsurgency operations, sieges by non-state actors around some towns, reprisal attacks, and threats of attacks are limiting humanitarian access in hard-to-reach areas. This is causing extreme food insecurity and malnutrition, with nearly half of the population – some 6.2 million people – in need of urgent food assistance.
“The food security situation in Somalia is extremely dire,” said Mshelia. “The number of people in need of assistance has increased significantly.
“Although some areas such as Ceelbuur, Jamaame, Hudur, and Dinsoor are classified as hard-to-reach, the FAO was able to reach some vulnerable households with critically needed cash transfers in some of these districts,” he said.
He added that the worst drought in the last 40 years and elevated global food prices have pushed more than 6.7 million Somalis to the brink of starvation. Without these cash transfers, many more people would be at risk of starvation. The FAO is doing everything it can to reach as many people as possible with these lifesaving assistance, but the needs are vast and the resources are limited.
Humanitarian assistance has been scaled up in the past few months to try and meet the needs of the growing number of displaced people, but the level of need continues to outpace the amount of assistance that is available. This is especially challenging in areas where there are non-state armed groups present, as this makes it much more difficult to deliver aid.
The war in Ukraine has caused a sharp increase in global food prices, which presents an unprecedented challenge in meeting the needs of Somalis. The situation is made worse by the fact that many Somalis are internally displaced, living in camps without adequate resources. With the help of the international community, we must do everything we can to provide for the needs of the Somali people.
Somalia declared the current drought a “national humanitarian emergency” in late 2021. The drought has left more than six million Somalis in need of assistance, including 2.9 million people who are facing crisis levels of food insecurity. An estimated 1.4 million children are acutely malnourished, including 400,000 who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The lack of rainfall has also led to widespread water shortages, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis. The Somali government has appealed for international assistance to help address the needs of those affected by the drought.
The UN has warned that famine is likely to occur in parts of Somalia as the drought continues to worsen. The organisation has called for immediate action to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.
According to the UN, the lack of rainfall in Somalia has left many people without access to food and water. The situation is particularly dire in the country’s north-east, where the drought has been most severe.
Humanitarian assistance is urgently needed in order to prevent the situation from deteriorating further. The UN has appealed to the international community to provide support to those affected by the drought.