The UN and the Somalia donor community have released a combined US$45.7 million to scale up life-saving assistance in Somalia targeting 4.2 million in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
In a joint statement Tuesday, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) said the funds will target affected populations in northern and south-central regions in Somalia. Out of the 4.2 million in need of food assistance, 900,000 of them are acutely malnourished.
Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said the funds will be instrumental in stemming the unfolding food crisis in the shortest time possible.
“These allocations will enable humanitarian agencies in Somalia to deliver urgently needed food, clean water, health care and education support in the shortest possible time in areas where needs are the highest,” said Lowcock.
The UN official noted priority will be given to children women, elderly and people living with disabilities.
Part of the allocation ($12 million from CERF) will boost response in worst affected parts of northern Somalia such as Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed for food assistance. The other portion of this will go to Sool, Sanaag and Bari regions to meet nutrition, health and water and sanitation and hygiene needs.
The $33.7 million SHF allocation will scale up protection, education and shelter support in northern Somalia, and other life-saving activities in central and southern Somalia. Most of the funding will go to national and international non-governmental organizations, while $700,000 will go to the UN Humanitarian Air Service, which helps move essential humanitarian goods and personnel.
“Support from CERF and the SHF will enable aid organizations to scale up and sustain life-saving assistance in the worst-affected areas in the country as the Jilaal (dry season) persists,” said George Conway, the acting Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. “This allocation is critical, but further generous donor funding will be needed to sustain aid operations and support recovery across Somalia.”
The Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) is a multi-donor country-based pooled mechanism created in 2010 to allocate funding for the most urgent life-saving interventions in Somalia.
The 2019 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan, seeking $1.08 billion, is only 12 per cent funded to date.