The UN said on Thursday that it will spend 12.3 million U.S. dollars in famine prevention efforts in 2018 in Somalia.
The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the funds will be disbursed by Somalia Human Fund (SHF), a multi-donor country-based pooled fund established in 2010 to support the timely allocation and disbursement of donor resources to address the most urgent humanitarian needs.
Peter de Clercq, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, said the critical funds, part of the SHF Second 2017 Standard Allocation, will support 30 famine prevention projects in some of the worst-affected areas across Somalia.
“These SHF funds will allow humanitarian partners to continue their enhanced famine prevention response from January 1, 2018,” de Clercq said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
He said almost two-thirds of funds are geared towards the integrated multi-sectorial response — providing food, clean water and life-saving health, nutrition and sanitation and hygiene services in areas where needs are the greatest.
De Clercq said the amount is only a small fraction of what will be required to sustain famine prevention efforts in 2018.
“Donors are urged to provide funding for the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan, which was part of the global launch on Dec. 1,” he said.
According to the OCHA, this standard allocation round, focusing primarily on national and international non-governmental partners (98 percent of funds), brings SHF funding for famine prevention response in 2017 to more than 57 million dollars.
It said over 37 percent of these funds have been channeled directly through local NGOs as part of the Grand Bargain commitment from the World Humanitarian Summit to support localization of aid.
According to the OCHA, poverty, marginalization, armed violence, insecurity, political instability, natural disasters and a lack of economic development have driven up humanitarian needs for decades in Somalia.
The OCHA said a lack of access to basic services, especially in the areas of education and livelihoods opportunities, can also easily tip residents into the vulnerable category in terms of relief needs, as well as encouraging outward migration in search of employment and increased susceptibility to recruitment by militant groups.
The UN relief agency said famine prevention efforts need to be sustained into 2018, alongside scaling up of livelihoods support to prevent populations at risk from sliding deeper into food insecurity.
“Early funding in 2018, including through the SHF, will be critical to enable humanitarian partners to sustain the current life-saving efforts,” said the OCHA.