Somaliland: International aid arrives just in time – but the hunger crisis is far from over

The drought that has gripped the self-declared Republic of Somaliland has been felt across the whole of the internationally unrecognised country.

But nowhere has it been more acute in the east of Somaliland in the Toogdhere, Soil & Sanaag regions.

Three years of failed rains and 90% of livestock lost in a country where 70% of the economy is dependent on the export of livestock.

The plight of Somaliland is just one part of a global struggle to avert famine.

Four countries are at risk – Somalia and Somaliland, Northern Nigeria, Yemen and South Sudan.

This has been my third trip to Somaliland this year, reporting on the effects of the crisis.

The UK has taken a lead on raising money and attention on what is happening across all of the countries affected by the threat of famine.

In particular, UK Aid – the humanitarian arm of the British government – has put considerable resources into Somalia.

Part of this aid goes to Somaliland – but this figure is not officially broken down so it’s still very difficult to know how much of total UK aid for Somalia goes to alleviate the drought and humanitarian crisis there.

Until now, I have seen very little international aid, from the UK or anywhere else to be honest, getting through to the hardest hit areas in the east.

What I’ve seen on my previous visits have been from Gulf countries and donations by Somaliland businesses and the Somaliland diaspora in the West.

But that is now beginning to change.

After the enormous generosity of the UK public who responded to the DEC appeal earlier this year, some of that £53 million raised is now getting through to vulnerable communities in eastern Somaliland in the form of flour, water, cooking oil, sugar and dates.