Poverty has increased in Somalia amid terror attacks: World Bank

By Omar Mohamed

Poverty among the poor in Somalia has increased as terror attacks are threatening the government and limiting its capacity to implement effective development policies, the World Bank said. 

In a statement, the bank said that the consumption of households exposed to terrorist incidents decreased by 33%, mainly on food items.

“As a result, poverty and the depth of poverty among the poor increases. The decline in consumption seems to be explained by a smaller share of household members working and earning income after an attack”, the statement added.

“The decline in consumption seems to be explained by a smaller share of household members working and earning income after an attack,” it said, adding the effect on consumption is restricted to a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) radius from incidents.

“Achieving peace is a fundamental first step to increase welfare conditions that will also bring other wider long-term benefits in Somalia”, the bank said.

Somalia is one of the poorest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that still faces many challenges and remains “fragile”, it added.

The country has been grappling with increasing insecurity for years, with the al-Shabaab terror group being one of the main threats in the Horn of Africa country.

Since at least 2007, al-Shabaab has waged a deadly campaign against the Somali government and international forces that has claimed thousands of lives.

The UN has warned of growing instability in the country, with its periodic reports on Somalia this year detailing attacks by al-Shabaab and pro-Daesh/ISIS groups.

There were at least 1,518 civilian casualties – 651 killed and 867 injured – in terrorist attacks in Somalia in 2018, followed by 1,459 – 591 killed and 868 injured – in 2019, according to the UN in Somalia.