Mogadishu (Diplomat.so) – The United Nations and humanitarian partners in Somalia have released the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Somalia, which is facing three consecutive failed rainy seasons for the first time in 30 years.
The 2022 HRP seeks close to US$1.5 billion to assist 5.5 million of the most vulnerable people in Somalia. To meet the immediate needs of drought-affected communities, the UN is releasing US$17 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), bringing CERF funding for Somalia in 2021 to $52 million. This is in addition to just under $60 million provided by donors to the Somalia Humanitarian Fund.
"The lives of the people in Somalia are on the line, and we have no time to lose,” said the UN Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths. "To save lives in Somalia and avert another humanitarian catastrophe, we must release funding now so that people can protect themselves from further hunger and impoverishment. I am releasing $17 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund today to enable humanitarians to scale up critical operations. I count on other donors to follow this lead and urge them to generously support the Somalia Humanitarian Fund.”
People in Somalia have endured decades of conflict, recurrent climate shocks, and disease outbreaks, including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A prolonged desert locust infestation has impacted also harvests and livelihoods. At least seven in 10 people in Somalia live below the poverty line.
An estimated 7.7 million Somalis will require humanitarian assistance and protection in 2022, marking a 30 per cent rise in needs in just one year.
The HRP will prioritize life-saving assistance for 5 million of the most vulnerable people, including 1 million children under 5, by decreasing the prevalence of hunger, acute malnutrition, public health threats and outbreaks, abuse, violence, and exposure to explosive ordinances by the end of the year. In addition, partners will attempt to sustain the lives of 5.5 million people requiring humanitarian assistance, including 3.9 million non-IDPs, 1.6 million IDPs and people with disability across 74 districts, by ensuring safe, equitable and dignified access to livelihoods and essential services. Finally, the humanitarian response in Somalia aims to uphold commitments to the centrality of protection.
Conflict and insecurity have forced 777,000 people to flee their homes so far this year. Overall, more than 2.9 million people are internally displaced in Somalia – one of the world’s highest figures. Most of these internally displaced people live a precarious existence and need help to survive. Women and girls make up half of the displaced population and face a heightened risk of sexual violence and harassment, abuse and intimate partner violence.
"The current drought has devastated livelihoods and pushed families to the brink of disaster,” said Federal Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Khadija Diriye. "There is a high risk that without immediate humanitarian assistance, children, women and men will start dying of starvation in Somalia.”
Somalia - on the front line of climate change - is the most severely drought-affected country in the Horn of Africa. An estimated 3.2 million people in 66 out of the country’s 74 districts are experiencing the cumulative impacts of three consecutive below average rainy seasons, including 169,000 who have abandoned their homes to seek water, food and pasture.
Recent projections indicate that up to 1.4 million Somalis could be displaced by drought in the coming six months. Widespread livestock deaths are already being reported, and food, water and fuel prices are rapidly increasing. Crop production in January is projected to be 50-70 per cent below the last ten-year average.
Humanitarian organizations, local communities and government authorities have ramped up responses to address acute water, food and fodder shortages and other lifesaving needs for people across Somalia. But they urgently need to ramp up these efforts and in order to scale up, they need additional resources and unfettered access to people in need.