Thursday, 7 April 2011

Drought-displaced “in tens of thousands”

HARGEISA/NAIROBI — With drought spreading to almost all regions of Somalia, officials and aid workers have expressed concern for those affected, saying drought was now a major cause of displacement.

“Drought, not insecurity, is now the main reason for new displacement in Somalia,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA Somalia) said in a March update. “More than 52,000 people have been displaced due to drought since 1 December 2010, many of them moving to urban areas in search of assistance.”

In particular, the capital, Mogadishu, had experienced an increased influx of drought-affected pastoralists, said OCHA.

“Although migration of people and livestock is not unusual during the dry season, this appears to be the first time ever pastoralists and their livestock have migrated into the capital, a situation that portrays the severity of the drought situation in the country,” OCHA said.

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