WFP and SODMA Launch Anticipatory Action Plan to Combat El Niño-Induced Floods in Somalia

The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Somali Disaster Management Agency (SODMA) have activated an Anticipatory Action (AA) plan to mitigate the effects of anticipated El Niño-induced floods in four districts of Somalia: Baardheere, Luuq, Jowhar, and Beletweyne. This initiative, launched in April 2024, marks the second activation of the Somalia Anticipatory Action Plan, following its initial implementation in October 2023.

The AA plan included disseminating early warning messages to approximately 1.9 million people through local radios, ringtones, and social media channels managed by local authorities. Additionally, $1,060,160 in anticipatory cash assistance was distributed to 79,512 individuals, enabling them to purchase food and cover essential expenses, including transportation to safer areas. To aid in evacuation efforts, WFP and the Logistics Cluster prepositioned fourteen boats in flood-prone communities.

WFP and its partners engaged with local communities, political and religious leaders, and other stakeholders to discuss potential flood scenarios, preparedness plans, and available assistance. Updated early warning messages about flood risks and mitigation strategies were distributed before, during, and after the floods to keep communities informed.

The anticipatory actions have proven effective in protecting vulnerable populations from climate-related disasters. The initiative is supported by multi-year funding from the governments of Germany and Denmark.

El Niño, a natural warming of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, significantly alters global weather patterns, often leading to severe floods and droughts. Countries like Somalia, already facing food insecurity and displacement due to conflict, are particularly vulnerable to these climatic shifts. As El Niño’s effects potentially give way to La Niña later this year, marked by cooling Pacific temperatures and altered weather patterns, the need for anticipatory actions remains critical.

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