The food crisis in Somalia is no longer at emergency levels but the needs remain “huge” and it will take at least two years for the country to recover, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said.
Malnutrition rates in some areas of the drought-hit Horn of Africa country have improved, the ICRC said, but the charity warned an ongoing conflict between the Kenyan army and Islamist al Shabaab rebels could precipitate the situation.
“The food crisis (in Somalia) has probably now stopped,” Daniel Duvillard, head of operations for the ICRC in the Horn of Africa, told AlertNet. “There are still huge needs of course. Rains were quite good but one good harvest won’t solve the problem for the Somali people,
“In some areas you can see there has been an improvement in terms of malnutrition rates. The only question mark is the impact of the military offensive against al Shabaab now but it is too early to assess,” he said.
A deadly combination of war and drought has left the chaotic nation at the epicentre of a hunger crisis affecting 13 million people across the Horn of Africa. Tens of thousands of Somalis have died from famine, which was declared in July.