Concern for deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaalkacyo
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation for people in Gaalkacyo in central Somalia, due to violence over the past three weeks.
“At least 85,000 people have been displaced by the fighting so far, 60 per cent of whom have been forced to flee their homes multiple times already because of conflict and drought,” said NRC’s Country Director in Somalia, Abdelgadir Ahmed. “The most recent fighting threatens to aggravate an already fragile situation for communities living in Gaalkacyo.”
Insecurity in 2015 displaced 90,000 people in Gaalkacyo, many of whom have since been living in displacement sites across the city. All 13 displacement settlements in south Gaalkacyo, with an estimated population of 20,000, have been abandoned in the past three weeks. Another eight in the north of the city have been vacated. Over 80 per cent of those displaced are women, children and the elderly.
In addition to suffering multiple displacements, high malnutrition rates were reported among communities in Gaalkacyo before the 7 October fighting outbreak. The recent clashes are likely to worsen an already dire situation.
On top of this, the overdue Dyer rains are due to start in Somalia any day. This could push families further into destitution, with the threat of flash flooding and water borne diseases like cholera and diarrhoea likely to rise in congested settlements.
NRC has been working in Gaalkacyo since 2007, supporting communities with shelter, water, sanitation, education, food and legal assistance. While recent fighting has forced us to temporarily put most of our regular activities on hold, we have received emergency funding to support over 5,000 people with food.
“We call on all parties to the fighting to cease hostilities, and to continue working to find a long-lasting solution to the conflict so communities can rebuild their lives,” said Abdelgadir Ahmed.
Facts about the humanitarian situation in Somalia
- An estimated 1.1 million people are internally displaced. Another one million people are living as refugees outside the country.
- Over 4.5 million people rely on humanitarian assistance.
- Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world. 43 per cent of the population lives on less than US$1 per day. Life expectancy is just 51 years.
- Five million people – more than 40 per cent of the country’s population – do not have sufficient food. This includes more than 300,000 children under 5 years who are acutely malnourished.
The Norwegian Refugee Council is a humanitarian organisation working in more than 25 countries globally, including Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia and Eritrea. It has been working in Somalia since 2004. For more information log onto www.nrc.no.