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NGOs call upon donors to urgently fund Somalia drought crisis

A woman puts her hand on her head while looking away.

Yevhen Maloteka/Ocha Ukraine

Yevhen Maloteka/Ocha Ukraine

7.7 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, and current Somalia humanitarian appeal is underfunded by a staggering 98%

We, the undersigned organizations, are deeply concerned for the lives of millions of Somalis facing a severe food crisis and are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. We call upon all donors including institutional donors, corporates, foundations, and individual philanthropic donors to urgently fund the current humanitarian appeal in order to respond to the escalating drought crisis in Somalia before it is too late. 98 percent of the current Somalia humanitarian appeal of 1.46 billion USD has yet to be met and remains severely underfunded.

7.7 million people in various locations across Somalia are currently witnessing a shocking increase in humanitarian needs as the rains fail for a third consecutive season – possibly the worst drought in 40 years1. Of those, an estimated 3.2 million people – in 66 out of 74 districts – are already suffering from an extreme drought2. A predicted 1.4 million people will be displaced in the coming months, congesting already overcrowded displacement camps3 and generating conflict over resources. There is a current outbreak of diarrhea due to lack of sufficient clean water and hygiene services and malnutrition is on the increase across the most drought- affected states4.

Experts are warning of a risk of famine5 as predictions for the next rainy season are worrying. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that the drought severity has notably worsened since December 2021 and will continue to worsen6. Humanitarian leaders are saying that they have never seen a drought that has impacted pastoralists, as much this one and that their biggest concern is the imminent famine, if funds are not received urgently7.

Despite this unprecedented need, less than 2% (26.3m USD) needed to respond to the crisis has been funded to date. Only a few donors have contributed so far: CERF (mostly Norway), the US Government, Germany, the EU, Canada and Switzerland8. Whilst we acknowledge that the overall humanitarian appeal tends to increase as the year progresses, we know that financing early prevents a catastrophe from happening and a costly response later and saves lives. The next few months are thus extremely critical to urgently respond to the needs on the ground.

In 2011, despite the warnings, the international humanitarian system did too little too late and an estimated 260.000 people lost their lives to a famine9. We must make sure that history does not repeat itself. By contrast, in 2017 the international community responded in force to the same indicators and averted wide spread disaster, the same scale of response is needed again.

We, local and international NGOs, stand ready to increase our response to meet the need. Many of us, thanks to donor support and private funding, are already scaling up our existing programming to better meet the people’s needs. However, we cannot respond to the escalating crisis without a sharp increase in funds by donors. We urge you to increase your commitments, cut and/or reduce red tapes to release and allocate funds. The time to act is now.

For More Information:

Rachel Kent
CARE Senior Press Officer


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