The scale-up has helped keep the worst outcomes of Somalia’s hunger crisis at bay so far.
MOGADISHU, Somalia, October 20, 2022 – The United Nations World Food Programme is delivering life-saving food and nutrition assistance to record numbers of people in Somalia, with over 4 million people a month receiving urgent humanitarian support to prevent famine in the face of the region’s worst drought in over 40 years.
The scale-up has helped keep the worst outcomes of Somalia’s hunger crisis at bay so far. But the situation on the ground remains dire, with lives and livelihoods being lost. WFP is racing against time to avert a projected famine and a death toll that could reach the tens or even hundreds of thousands.
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– Over the last six months, WFP has more than doubled the number of people reached with life-saving food and cash assistance from 1.7 million in April to 4.4 million people in August. A further 450,000 children and mothers received nutrition support from WFP in August, as the agency expands both the caseload and number of treatment sites.
– In September, WFP reached almost 4.1 million people with emergency food and cash relief and half a million malnourished children and mothers with malnutrition treatment services.
– WFP is working to continue this expansion, including in hard-to-reach areas, and increase investment in longer-term programming such as malnutrition prevention, which will help to reduce the number of people who need treatment.
Nutrition prevention activities were almost entirely suspended from the second quarter of 2022 as – – WFP was forced to prioritize treatment services due to limited funds. The agency has resumed some prevention activities for children and pregnant or breastfeeding women and is working to do more.
– WFP is reaching new rural areas, including in the famine risk districts of Baidoa and Burhakaba, with food assistance and cash transfers. WFP’s mobile money transfers are an efficient way to getting assistance rapidly to people in hard-to-reach areas.
– WFP deployed a new helicopter in Somalia in September to deliver food assistance to hard-to-reach areas and get aid workers to the places they are needed most. The WFP-led Logistics Cluster is also using the helicopter to deliver humanitarian relief on behalf of other UN agencies and NGOs. The helicopter has so far conducted over 30 flights in September and October.
– WFP is the largest humanitarian agency in Somalia, with 12 offices across the country providing coverage in every state.
– WFP’s massive scale-up has largely been made possible thanks to timely support from key donors, particularly in recent months. It is essential that this is maintained. WFP has a funding gap of US$ 412 million across all activities for the next six months to March 2023, including a shortfall of US$ 315 million for life-saving food relief and nutrition assistance.
Millions are at risk unless humanitarian assistance is scaled up and sustained.
MOGADISHU, Somalia, October 21, 2022 – Humanitarian organizations need an additional US$1 billion in funding to reach 7.6 million people targeted for humanitarian assistance in Somalia. 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.
“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,” said Somalia Deputy Prime Minister, Salah Ahmed Jama.
Somalia is currently facing its worst drought in at least 40 years. 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. In response to the alarming situation, the Federal Government of Somalia 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.
In January, when the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan was launched, about 3.2 million people were affected by the cumulative effects of three consecutive failed rainy seasons. Now, because of yet more failed rains, more than 7.8 million Somalis, nearly half of the population, are affected by drought. More than 1.1 million people have left their homes in search of food, water, and livelihoods, a threefold increase since the beginning of the year. Three million livestock have died, and water sources have run dry.
“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,” said Adam Abdelmoula, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.
The updated 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan requires $2.26 billion to respond to the most life-threatening needs of 7.6 million people across Somalia, an increase of $800 million on the initial HRP target in January of $1.46 billion for about 5.5 million people. More than 80 per cent of the funding requirement is related to drought. Donors have made generous contributions totalling $1.05 billion so far this year (46 per cent of the $2.26 billion appeal), enabling partners to reach about 6.5 million people across Somalia with some form of humanitarian assistance, but more funds are urgently needed to keep pace with the increasing scale, scope, and severity of the situation.
More than 300 humanitarian organizations, including international and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs), UN agencies and international organizations have projects in the HRP. More funding should be channelled to national NGOs, who are on the frontline responding to needs in some of the hardesthit and hardest-to-reach areas of Somalia. Immediate life-saving assistance must also be accompanied by investment in livelihoods, resilience, infrastructure development, climate adaptation and durable solutions.