UN gives Somalia $9.5m for famine prevention
The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Mr. Adam Abdelmoula, launched a new allocation of US$9.5 million from the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) to provide immediate assistance to communities in areas at highest risk of famine.
“The risk of famine and number of people getting displaced has alarmingly increased,” said Mr. Abdelmoula. “Somalia is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe, yet the funding needed to respond to rapidly growing needs remains vastly insufficient to avert the worst outcomes.”
The risk of famine in Somalia has intensified following a historic fourth failed rainy season, and now catastrophic hunger looms. The worsening drought conditions have affected 7 million people and displaced over 900,000 from their homes in search of water, food, and pasture: the majority being women and children. Hunger is rising; about 45 per cent of the population are classified as acutely food insecure, with 213,000 facing catastrophic food insecurity.
This allocation will be vital in scaling up life-saving responses to the needs of worst-affected communities in Bay and Bakool regions (South West State). The risk of famine is the highest in the two regions and particularly in Bay where for the first time since 2017, the Integrated Food
Security Phase Classification has confirmed pockets of catastrophic food insecurity (IPC 5). The region is experiencing a massive influx of Internally Displaced Persons with highest needs.
The allocation will promote an integrated response to prevent the worst outcomes through cash for food, emergency livelihood inputs, provision of essential health, nutrition, and water as well as sanitation services. In addition, it will support protection assistance for highly vulnerable households.
The SHF allocation complements the $14 million Rapid Response grant from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in May 2022 that aimed to address the worsening food crisis and multi-sectoral needs of communities severely affected by the drought.
The 2022 Drought Response and Famine Prevention Plan (DRP), published on 24 June as a subset of the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), outlines the humanitarian community’s detailed plans and financial requirements needed to prevent famine in Somalia. Between May and December 2022, the DRP targets more than 6.4 million people and requires US$993.3 million. To date, $621 million has been reported for the Somalia operation, representing 42 per cent of the HRP ask and 62 per cent of the DRP ask.
“We are racing against the clock to reach the most vulnerable and to prevent the loss of lives and livelihoods. I urge everyone to step up our collective efforts to help the people of Somalia,” said Mr. Abdelmoula.