Somalia Humanitarian Fund allocates US$20 million for drought emergency

The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Mr. Adam Abdelmoula, launched a new allocation of US$20 million from the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) to provide immediate assistance to communities at risk of famine in priority locations.

“A disaster is unfolding in Somalia due to severe drought,” said Mr. Abdelmoula. “In several areas, the risk of famine has increased, and scores of Somalis are on the brink of catastrophe. I am concerned that a huge number of people will starve to death unless we rapidly scale up the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those most affected.”

In February, the SHF allocated $25 million to mitigate the impacts of severe drought. About 836,000 people benefitted through multi-sectoral integrated interventions. The new allocation will focus on underserved, hard-to-reach areas and complements the $14 million Rapid Response grant from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) that aims to address the worsening food crisis and multi-sectoral needs of communities severely affected by the drought.

The CERF grant will target priority locations in South West State, Banadir, Mudug, Lower Shabelle and Togdheer regions with lifesaving water, sanitation and hygiene, food security, health, nutrition and protection assistance while the SHF will focus on clusters in Hirshabelle State, Galgaduud, Toghdeer and Sool, Banadir and Bay regions.

Somalia is the most drought-impacted country in the Horn of Africa; at least 6.1 million people have been affected of whom 771,000 have abandoned their homes in search of water, food, and pasture. At least 1.5 million children are facing acute malnutrition, and over 3,170 AWD/cholera and 2,460 measles cases have been confirmed since January.

Despite increasing needs, the 2022 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan, which seeks US$1.5 billion to assist 5.5 million people, has only received 18 per cent of required funding (nearly $260 million) as of 31 May.

“I thank the SHF and CERF for providing desperately needed resources but urge other partners and donors not to forget the people of Somalia,” said Mr. Abdelmoula. “We are running out of time. Unless we act now, we are likely to experience the worst outcomes in coming months.”

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