1 May 2018
United Nations agencies in Somalia have stepped up their response in the wake of devastating flash floods across large parts of the country that have impacted nearly 500,000 people and displaced close to 175,000 from their homes.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the current floods are some of the worst the region has ever seen, and the current water level exceeds a 50-year return period in most locations.
“Internally displaced people remain the most vulnerable to the impact of the flooding with many camps located in low-lying areas,” Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General said, briefing reporters in New York on Monday.
“Humanitarian partners on the ground have prioritized water, sanitation, hygiene, [health,] shelter and food response in their interventions,” he added.
The heavy rains and flash floods come only months after a devastating drought left over six million people in need of humanitarian assistance last year.
Floods worse than anticipated
The magnitude of rainfall has been much worse than anticipated, said Yngvil Foss, the deputy head at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Somalia.