Somalia has been facing the challenge of recuring drought since 1974, with many regions experiencing water scarcity and food shortages.The escalating conflict in Las'anod is yet another crisis facing Somalia, a country already grappling with a severe drought and ongoing security challenges. Las’anod city is currently in the midst of a deadly conflict that has resulted in over 234 people being killed and over 700 injured in Las-anod thus far. This includes seven children and their mother. However, the actual casualties and the impact on the civilian population cannot be confirmed so far. More than 70 schools have been closed, affecting the education of over 17,000 children, and an estimated 195,282 individuals have been displaced, as per the interagency assessment report published on February 13th, 2023. According to media reports, residents are in danger of being hit by mortar fire and bullets as the situation remains volatile, and fighting may occur at any moment.
The displaced population has been forced to move to nearby towns, villages, and regions. The region was already affected by the ongoing drought, and the conflict has exacerbated the vulnerabilities of the most affected groups, including women, children, and the elderly. The newly displaced families do not have access to adequate housing, with the majority co-habiting with relatives and host communities, while some are staying in rented places. High shortages of medical materials and drugs have also been reported in hospitals in Puntland, and there is a need for urgent medical supplies. Due to the increased movement of families, the protection risks for children, and incidents of family separation also remain high.
"Women and girls have faced the most severe protection concerns during the conflict due to the loss of shelter, essential food, and non-food items. The situation is compounded by the prolonged drought, leaving them at heightened risk of malnutrition, disease outbreaks, and hunger due to difficulties in accessing essential life-saving services such as adequate and safe shelters, latrines, and essential food and non-food items."
HRDC Somalia has been responding to the Las’anod emergency since the crisis began on December 26th, 2022
The interagency assessment report shows that the displaced populations have moved to various villages and towns and are scattered in small villages with no health, Education and Food services.
As part of its immediate response to the crisis, HRDC with support GlobalGiving distributed food baskets. These Food Baskets contain Sugar, Rice, Floor, Pasta and Vegetable oil items. relief food has been distributed to the affected communities to provide much-needed assistance.
The relief food distribution in Sool Region was launched by the government officials of Sool Region. The distribution was carried out through a coordinated effort between local government officials, local volunteers and community leaders.
The relief food included Sugar, Rice, Floor, Pasta and Vegetable oil items. The food was distributed to households in the affected areas, with priority given to vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, Disability and the sick.
The distribution was conducted in an orderly and transparent manner, with proper documentation of the beneficiaries and the quantities of food distributed. The local government officials and community leaders worked together to ensure that the food reached the intended beneficiaries and that there was no discrimination in the distribution process.
The relief food distribution has had a positive impact on the affected communities. It has provided much-needed assistance to families struggling to feed themselves in the midst of the drought. The food has also helped to stabilize food prices in the local markets, making it more affordable for those who can afford to buy food.
However, there are some challenges facing the relief food distribution in Sool Region. The first challenge is the inadequate funding for the relief efforts. The relief food is not sufficient to meet the needs of all the affected communities in the region. We therefore appeal for more funding in this project, to enable us reach out to as many needy people as possible.
We believe in advocating for fair policies that ensure a just world for all. That is why in each of these situations, HRDC is present, working to ensure that the most vulnerable among us are protected, supported, and empowered.
In conclusion, the relief food distribution in Sool Region has provided much-needed assistance to the communities affected by the drought. The coordinated efforts between the local government officials, HRDC Team and community leaders have ensured that the food reached the intended beneficiaries in a transparent and fair manner.We strive to meet basic needs through the distribution of food for Venerable Communities.
However, there is a need for increased funding and infrastructure development to improve the effectiveness of the relief efforts.
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We’re grateful, as always, for your continued dedication to human rights.