The UK government is providing £8 million for humanitarian support to Somalis affected by the current drought. The funds will go towards providing food security, nutrition, clean water, basic health services and livestock vaccination; this extra support will provide a significant boost to those affected by the drought.
Many thousands of families have not had time to recover from the 2017 drought and are already facing another crisis. Two failed rains and harsh weather conditions during the dry Jilaal season (January-March) has led to water scarcity, crop failure and an accelerated decline in livestock productivity.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Somalia estimated 5.4 million Somalis are now projected to be food insecure by July; of which, at least 2.2 million are likely to be acutely food insecure.
A spike in drought-induced displacement continues as rural communities flee to urban areas – nearly 45, 000 people have moved so far this year. Severe acute malnutrition rates among children are increasing rapidly, particularly among internally displaced people.
On 20 May aid agencies in Somalia launched a Drought Response Plan which called for urgent and sustained resources to avert a major crisis. The plan seeks $710 million to provide critical, life-saving assistance to 4.5 million drought-affected Somalis in the most severely affected areas this year.
Head, DFID Somalia, Phil Evans, DFID said:
The drought is affecting millions of Somalis, many of whom have had to leave their homes and livelihoods in desperate search of basic necessities. This funding will provide life-saving assistance to thousands of Somalis living in desperate conditions.
The number of people at risk will continue to grow if nothing is done. We have learnt lessons from the past and know that acting early saves lives and makes sense.
- The UK is one of the largest humanitarian donors to Somalia.
- The £8 million will be allocated as follows: £3 million to UNICEF; £3 million to WFP and £2 million to FAO.
- In April 2019, The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) released a combined US$45.7 million to scale up life-saving assistance in Somalia. The UK is a major donor to both these funds. Today’s new package of funding will support these efforts.
- The UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) is investing £84 million over the next three years into long-term resilience activities, including through the recently launched Building Resilient Communities in Somalia programme (BRCiS II).