Somalia is on the brink of famine. Martin Griffiths, head of the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said on Monday. According to him, a catastrophe threatens “between October and December.”
“The famine is knocking on the door. Today is an ultimate warning. The report on food in Somalia shows concrete indicators that there will be a famine in two zones of the Bay between October and December this year,” Griffiths said at a press conference in the capital Mogadiscio.
Bay is a region in the country’s south in the Horn of Africa. Griffiths states a catastrophe is imminent in the districts of Baidoa and Buurhakabo.
Griffiths has been in Somalia since Thursday. He says he is “deeply shocked by the pain and suffering so many Somalis have endured.” In Somalia, the historic drought affects nearly half of the 7.8 million inhabitants. As a result, hunger and thirst have forced more than a million people to flee in search of help since last year.
Somalia is undergoing a third drought in the space of a decade. Ocha had already warned in July that the current drought period is worse than those of 2010-2011 and 2016-2017, both in terms of ‘severity and duration.