Somalia: UN Seeks U.S.$47.5 Million for Flood Victims in Somalia

The United Nations humanitarian agency said Thursday it needs an additional 47.5 million U.S. dollars for emergency humanitarian assistance to help Somalia deal with severe flooding.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that since the UN agency and Somalia launched a three-month 72.5 million dollar Flood Response Plan on Nov. 23 to mobilize additional resources, only 25 million dollars has been made available.

"The rains have inundated 207,000 hectares of land along Shabelle and Juba rivers, raising concerns about food security and livelihood losses," OCHA said in its latest report on flood response.

It said humanitarian partners have scaled up flood responses by re-programming available resources, but significant gaps remain even as heavy rains subside in some locations.

According to the UN agency, more than 350,000 people have received assistance out of 570,000 flood-affected people.

In Belet Weyne, it said, flood water has receded, allowing 80,000 people, or 40 percent of the town's 180,000 displaced residents, to return home.

The floods were triggered by moderate to heavy Deyr seasonal rains that started early in September in many parts of Somalia and the Ethiopian Highlands, where the Juba and Shabelle rivers originate, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization-managed Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM).

SWALIM said entire reaches of the Juba and Shabelle rivers have seen high water levels, resulting in flooding in Hirshabelle, Jubaland and South West states.

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