The perennial flooding and drought problems that afflict the Horn of Africa and the millions of farmers and pastoralists in the region have been particularly acute in Somaliland, the relatively stable breakaway republic that remains unrecognised internationally. In February 2010, the Somaliland authorities urgently called for aid to help almost 40% of its population or 1.4 million people in need of assistance after 3 consecutive years of failed rains in the region.
UN OCHA-Somalia (UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs for Somalia) has described the situation in Somaliland and Somalia as a whole as acute and characterised by shrinking access (because of the ongoing civil disorder in the rest of Somalia), consecutive seasons of drought and unprecedented funding shortfalls. Indeed, the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP – the fund through which UN Agencies and NGO’s solicit funding for projects and programmes) has raised only 5% of the funds required to meet the immediate needs of those worst affected by the drought in Somaliland.
While rainfall has indeed began to arrive recently in the region, the crisis does not stop with the advent of rain. In fact, the rains bring their own set of problems. Recent flooding in Somaliland in February 2010 destroyed water systems and affected crops by damaging large tracts of farmland and caused unconfirmed numbers of livestock deaths. Almost 40,000 people were affected by the recent flooding. With the additional crisis caused by the drought and severe funding shortfalls, the Somaliland authorities, UN Agencies and NGO’s are struggling to cope.
With 255,000 people cited as being in acute food and livlihood crisis, the cycle of drought and flooding that has proved to be a curse in the Horn of Africa, is threatening the stability of an area of Greater Somalia that has done so much with so few resources to create a peaceful and stable zone and that is in such stark contrast to it’s unruly Southern neighbours of Somalia and Puntland in the South.
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