$43M allocated to provide life-saving aid to Somalia

The Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF), a multi-donor country-based pooled mechanism established to allocate funding for the most urgent interventions in Somalia, has allocated $25 million to provide life-saving assistance to drought-affected communities, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Wednesday. 

Additionally, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has provided Somalia with $18 million as part of its global “famine prevention” allocation. 

“These two complementary pooled fund allocations of $43 million are addressing the impact of drought and food insecurity in support of the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan,” a UN statement said. 

The funds aim to strengthen the response in areas of the country where the risk of famine persists and to minimize further displacements by targeting hard-to-access rural locations in Bay, Lower, and Middle Shabelle, which are major sources of displacement, according to the statement. 

“This allocation is a testament to our commitment to supporting the people of Somalia,” said George Conway, deputy special representative of the UN Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. 

“We need to do more, hence our continued appeal to our donors and partners for additional and timely support to Somalia to sustain the response and retain gains made,” he said in the statement. 

Although famine was avoided in Somalia last year, the humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa nation remains “extremely alarming,” with approximately 8.25 million people, or 50% of the country’s population, in need of humanitarian assistance and a record number of 3.2 million people displaced by the worst drought in recent memory, the OCHA warned. 

The UN 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan calls for $2.6 billion to meet the needs of 7.6 million most vulnerable people in Somalia. 

However, as of mid-year, only 30.5% had been received, the UN said, adding that funds are “urgently” required to deliver critical assistance in Somalia. 

Somalia has been the hardest hit in the Horn of Africa, with 43,000 people dying from drought in 2022, half of whom were children. 

The UN-managed funds – the Ethiopia and Somalia Humanitarian Funds (EHF), SHF, and CERF – have allocated $466 million to Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and Uganda since 2021, the UN’s late May statement.

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