MOGADISHU — The World Health Organization (WHO) said it is seeking 1.23 million U.S. dollars to help Somalis affected by tropical cyclone, Gati, which made landfall in Puntland state in northeast Somalia on Nov. 22 last year.
The UN agency said the funds will be used to implement a timely intervention to prevent deaths and help Somalia overcome the negative consequences of the cyclone.
“With the affected people having no access to basic health care needs, and limited sanitation, this could result in an increase in diseases such as vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, and waterborne diseases, and diarrhoea,” WHO said in a statement issued on Thursday evening.
It said the humanitarian partners are collaborating with the government to reach 101, 000 people — about 84 percent of those affected by the cyclone — and are finalizing a response plan that outlines additional financial support they need to avert any additional suffering in the cyclone-affected areas. By the end of December 2020, the storm had killed nine people and more than 63,000 livestock, and affected around 183, 000 people, according to the UN.
WHO said it collaborated with other humanitarian agencies to conduct a rapid inter-agency assessment in the affected areas in late November 2020 to understand the humanitarian impact of cyclone Gati and determine the most urgent needs of the population.
It said the assessment also determined the available resources and capacities within districts affected, and will guide an effective response to the storm.
“The most immediate humanitarian needs of affected populations include food, water, sanitation and hygiene, emergency shelter and the prevention of waterborne, vector-borne and communicable diseases,” WHO said.
“These include cholera, malaria, dysentery, diarrhea, and skin diseases due to families being inundated with contaminated water. Stagnant water in some areas also threatens to serve as ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” the UN health agency said. It warned that the situation is already resulting in an increase in malnutrition due to lost livelihoods and assets, and a potential increase in COVID-19 and other airborne diseases due to crowded living conditions.