On the edge of disaster: Somalis forced to flee drought and near famine conditions

People suffering in Somalia's latest drought have fared better when donors deftly shift funding to emergency projects that help residents save money and stockpile food, a charity said. Severe drought in the Horn of Africa nation is expected to deepen until the October rainy season, and humanitarians are racing to avoid a repeat of the 2011 famine when more than 250,000 people died of starvation. Funding from major donors, including the United States, Britain and the European Union, has been used effectively in Somalia for community warehousing of food and for savings and loan programs, the rights group Refugees International said in a report. Flexible use of that funding allowed agencies in Somalia to switch to emergency preparedness projects once it became clear in June 2016 that the drought would be prolonged, it said. It was easier for donors to send funds to agencies in Somalia because they already had contracts in place, it said.