17 February 2021, Mogadishu – Over 2.6 million people in Somalia are expected to be in extreme food insecurity according to the latest joint technical assessment released by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). The report cites poor rainfall, flooding and desert locusts among the main contributing factors and warns that the situation could worsen through mid-2021 in the absence of large-scale and sustained humanitarian assistance.
FAO and the Government of Somalia have emphasized the urgency to increase support to sustain ongoing desert locust control and surveillance efforts, and to provide rapid emergency assistance over the coming months.
“Despite relative progress, there has been a new upsurge of desert locusts that has destroyed crops. We will continue working as a combined force to combat the threat of Desert Locusts and mitigate the potential of a more devastating outcome,” said Said Hussein Iid, Somalia’s Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation.
The report highlights that desert locusts will continue to pose a serious risk of damage to both pasture and crops countrywide through mid-2021. In addition, available forecasts indicate an increased likelihood of below-average rainfall during the 2021 Gu (April-June) season across most of the country, which would further exacerbate food and nutrition insecurity for millions of people.
“With the Government’s support, our teams and partners have maintained operations in control and surveillance, while delivering crucial humanitarian assistance and livelihood support during extremely challenging circumstances. Expanding the emergency response is crucial and underway, with a focus on interventions aimed at reducing food consumption gaps, saving lives, and protecting and preserving livelihoods,” said Etienne Peterschmitt, FAO Representative in Somalia.
From July to December 2020, assistance reached more than 1.8 million people per month on average in parts of Somalia. This large-scale humanitarian and government support helped to minimize the magnitude of the crisis and funding is needed urgently to boost efforts to reduce the new food security threats the country is currently facing.
Approximately 1.6 million people face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes in the presence of planned humanitarian assistance during the first quarter of 2021. An additional 2.5 million people are Stressed (IPC Phase 2), bringing the total number of people experiencing acute food insecurity to 4.1 million. This also includes approximately 840 000 children under the age of five who are likely to be acutely malnourished, including nearly 143 000 who are likely to be severely malnourished. According to FSNAU-FEWS NET, from April to June 2021, food insecurity is expected to deteriorate. largely among poor rural, urban and displaced populations, due to the multitude of threats and crises. Humanitarian assistance must be sustained through mid-2021 to prevent Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes for nearly 2.7 million people.
“Somalia’s long-standing crises are compounded now by the ‘triple threat’ of the COVID-19 pandemic, Desert Locust infestations and climatic shocks,” said the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Adam Abdelmoula, who also serves as the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. “We must continue to work with all humanitarian partners to ensure the most vulnerable Somalis are able to withstand the challenges and build resilience against future shocks. I urge all partners to work together across the humanitariandevelopment and -peacebuilding paths to address the root causes of these crises and build lasting solutions that leave no one behind,” he added.
The term of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo official term is ending tomorrow on the 8th February 2021. There been negotiations on how the elections was supposed to be held. The Dhusamareb Summit haven’t settled the differences and the uncertainty is now a thing.
The President who is running out of time is planning to settle. As he has a decree from last year saying he doesn’t have to step until the next one is sworn-in. That means he plans to rule without an official mandate. As there is no election to get another President elected. The opposition and also Puntland state are saying they will not recognize him as the Head of State. Therefore, a stalemate is on the horizon. A self inflicted political crisis, but the President blames everyone else.
It is seems like that is his card to play. It is either foreign interference or blaming someone else. That is what Farmaajo have to offer. The political uncertainty and doubts ahead isn’t showing strength for his leadership. A man who cannot settle this ahead of the polls and before the deadline. Instead, his pushing it to the end and not having solved the matters.
You can wonder what sort of play he wants or if he fear the inevitable. Many wants to send him packing and not have him in-charge. While others calls him the best President.
Farmaajo has nothing good ahead of him now. Yes, he has a decree or a document allowing him, but that is for legal scholars to spell out. Also, the constitutional right to await the next candidate. It is just like the President hopes he can run out of time and rule without an election. Just so he can copy the Prime Minister of Addis Ababa. That is how it seems. Have his own “unelected” term and still being in power.
Everyone will aim at him and the ones being Presidential Candidates will go after him. Now, the allies he has will either shield him or go after him too. As this political crisis all self-inflicted and it doesn’t help to blame everyone else.
President Farmaajo cannot run away from this. He has been able to get rid of others before. Now, the same mechanisms might get rid of him too. The President isn’t a superior being, but yet another one.
He has risked so much and with this his gambling it all. Instead of using all the negotiations and meetings. The President has instead bullied himself to a corner. Farmaajo didn’t want to make electoral reforms or ensure a smooth transition. No, he wanted to ensure chaos. So, that he can hopefully get on top again.
Nevertheless, that is risky not only for Farmaajo, but for Somalia too. Farmaajo is risking Villa Somalia and the Parliament too. Just because he couldn’t settle the score with all the stakeholders. Like he will like it as a “caretaker” and not official. With that role, the agreements and decrees written should be temporary, unless it is about the upcoming polls. The election he couldn’t fix.
It is just like Farmaajo hopes he can buy time and get rid of enemies along the way. Who knows, but this is risky. Expect months to go and questions in the air. This will not happen quickly. If it had mattered to Farmaajo, it would have been fixed already.
He will blame others and outsiders too. That is what he has… but if it is enough for another term. That is something time will tell. Peace.