Aid agencies operating in Somalia have called on the international community to urgently address climate emergency needs in the Horn of Africa nation.
The local and international agencies under the umbrella organization, the Somalia NGO Consortium, said immediate and long-term needs across Somalia must be seen as part of the global climate crisis and responded to urgently.
According to Nasra Ismail, director of Somalia NGO Consortium “The crises occurring within Somalia’s borders are a global responsibility. Climatic shocks are not a local phenomenon but a manifestation of the growing environmental emergency“.
The agencies said they are struggling to keep pace with immense humanitarian needs across the country in the midst of a worsening complex emergency.
In recent weeks, it said, more than half a million people have been affected by floods and an estimated 370,000 people have fled homes submerged in floodwater.
The agencies appealed to government officials set to meet in South Africa next week for the 17th Regular Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) to reinforce the need for support and engagement from governments beyond Africa to address climate-related disasters.
“The responsibility to take immediate action to mitigate disaster risks and meet immediate needs, in line with the international instruments like the Paris Agreement, falls on all nations,” said Ismail.
According to the consortium, the needs across the country are some of the highest in the world, with the UN reporting that in the absence of sufficient assistance, as many as 6.3 million people face food insecurity.
According to the agencies, in recent weeks, widespread damage to farmland and infrastructure has occurred against a backdrop of sustained conflict and repeated climate shocks.