Somalia: Conflict, Flood Left Thousands Displaced - UN

More than 220,000 Somalis have been internally displaced due to armed conflict and natural disasters while facing deadly coronavirus since the start of 2020, the UN Refugee Agency said Friday.

"UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, fears these multiple, compounding emergencies will lead to devastating consequences unless there is a strong and coordinated response from the international community, national and local Somali authorities and humanitarian actors to meet the massive humanitarian needs," UNHCR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley said in a statement.

The majority of group, 137,000 Somalis, were displaced due to conflict, he said, elaborating that in both March and April "armed operations against Al Shabab resumed in Lower Shabelle, resulting in more than 50,000 people being forced to flee their homes."

He also said communities were exposed to crossfire and mortar attacks and roadside explosions while they were fleeing.

"UNHCR believes the humanitarian situation will worsen as COVID-19 further spreads. Most of the 2.6 million IDPs [internally displaced people] in Somalia live in overcrowded settlements and many, especially those newly displaced, live in makeshift shelters made of plastic bags, cardboards and sticks," he said.

Physical and social distancing is gravely hard to observe and the water scarcity threatens health as it is hardly enough for drinking, let alone hand-washing, Yaxley added.

More From: Shabelle

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.