Mogadishu — The United Nations relief agency said Thursday it has released 25 million U.S. dollars to help Somalis affected by heavy rains and flooding across the country.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the funds will support efforts to prevent loss of life, stem disease outbreaks, and address food insecurity.
“While all possible preparatory measures are being pursued, a flood of this magnitude can only be mitigated and not prevented,” OCHA said in a statement.
The statement comes after the Somali government and the UN said they have stepped up measures to evacuate over 2,400 Somalis who were trapped by flood waters in the southern part of the country.
OCHA said the funds will help UN agencies and partners assist more than 700,000 people during the initial phase of the crisis.
The UN and its partners estimate that 1.6 million people could be affected by flooding in the current seasonal Deyr (October to December) rainy season, with 1.5 million hectares of farmland potentially being destroyed.
Somalia, which has been recovering from a historic drought, is one of many African countries facing a heightened risk of flooding, drought, and extreme heat in the coming months spurred by El Nino and the positive Indian Ocean Dipole.