The United Nations and other humanitarian partners have launched the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2022, seeking about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to help 5.5 million of the most vulnerable people in Somalia.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said on Monday that, it is releasing 17 million dollars from the Central Emergency Response Fund to meet the immediate needs of drought-affected communities.
“To save lives in Somalia and avert another humanitarian catastrophe, we must release funding now so that people can protect themselves from further hunger and impoverishment,” the UN Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
Somalia is facing three consecutive failed rainy seasons for the first time in 30 years. “I count on other donors to follow this lead and urge them to generously support the Somalia Humanitarian Fund,” Griffiths said.
According to the UN, people in Somalia have endured decades of conflict, recurrent climate shocks, and disease outbreaks, including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. And a prolonged desert locust infestation has also impacted harvests and livelihoods in Somalia.
The UN estimates that about 7.7 million people in Somalia will require humanitarian assistance and protection in 2022.
The UN said the HRP will prioritize life-saving assistance for the most vulnerable people, including one million children under five, by decreasing the prevalence of hunger, acute malnutrition, public health threats and outbreaks, abuse, violence, and exposure to explosive ordinances by the end of the year.
Additionally, the UN said, partners will attempt to sustain the lives of 5.5 million people requiring humanitarian assistance by ensuring safe, equitable and dignified access to livelihoods and essential services. Finally, the humanitarian response in Somalia aims to uphold commitments to the centrality of protection.
Khadija Diriye, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster of Somalia, said the current drought has devastated livelihoods and pushed families to the brink of disaster.
“There is a high risk that without immediate humanitarian assistance, children, women and men will start dying of starvation in Somalia,” Diriye said.