- The United Nations humanitarian arm has said donor assistance is urgently needed in southern and central Somalia as clashes continues in Mogadishu.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said violence in the impoverished Horn of Africa nation has impeded access to essential and life-saving health services, as well as to clean water and sanitation.
The agency said the fresh wave of fighting, which broke out in Mogadishu in May, has driven 200,000 people from their homes in addition to the more than 400,000 already displaced near the capital and along the Afgooye corridor, west of Mogadishu.
It also said poor coverage of health care is leading to more frequent communicable disease outbreaks, rising rates of severe acute malnutrition, and falling immunization rates, among other effects hitting poor Somalis.
“With the country already facing one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world, the humanitarian health community is finding itself constrained by the health funding deficit, leaving a number of critical life-saving health projects uninitiated and ongoing ones under threat of cessation,” OCHA said in a donor alert.
Earlier this week, relief organisations in Somalia issued an $11 million appeal to meet the emergency water and sanitation needs of those who have fled Mogadishu in recent weeks.
Aid agencies are currently only able to supply two to eight litres of water per person per day in that area.
There is also currently one latrine for every 212 displaced people in the Afgooye corridor, and a major concern is that effect the lack of water is having on efforts to prevent the spread of communicable diseases in overcrowded situations, the agency has said.
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