MOGADISHU – The Humanitarian organizations need an additional 1 billion U.S. dollars in funding to respond to the most life-threatening needs of 7.6 million people across Somalia, the UN relief agency said on Thursday.
Adam Abdelmoula, the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and also the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, said more funding should be channeled to national NGOs, who are on the frontline responding to needs in some of the hardest hit and hardest-to-reach areas.
Abdelmoula warned that millions of Somalis are at risk unless humanitarian assistance is scaled up and sustained.
“Humanitarian organizations have adapted the response to target areas where the needs are highest, focusing on the most vulnerable people. But we know we urgently need to do more, and we require more money to do so,” he said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
The UN said the increased requirement for the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) comes against the backdrop of rapidly mounting needs and a corresponding scale-up in humanitarian action.
Salah Ahmed Jama, Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia, said his country is currently facing its worst drought in at least 40 years.
The crisis is caused by the historic failure of four consecutive rainy seasons, persistent conflict, displacement, and high food prices have left millions of people at risk and are pushing people in Somalia to the brink of famine
“We are facing a major emergency. We declared the drought an emergency last year and have been scaling up to reach the most vulnerable people, but we need the international community’s support to prevent further deterioration,” Jama said.
He said the government has appointed a special envoy for drought and reconstituted the Somali Disaster Management Agency, tasked with facilitating efforts of relief and rescuing people in distress, to help respond to the alarming situation.
The UN said the updated 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan requires 2.26 billion dollars to reach 7.6 million people targeted for humanitarian assistance in Somalia, an increase of 800 million dollars on the initial HRP target in January of 1.46 billion dollars for about 5.5 million people.
It said more than 80 percent of the funding requirement is related to drought, adding that donors have made generous contributions totaling 1.05 billion dollars so far this year (46 percent of the 2.26 billion dollar appeal), enabling partners to reach about 6.5 million people across Somalia with some form of humanitarian assistance.
The UN, however, said more funds are urgently needed to keep pace with the increasing scale, scope, and severity of the situation