Over 40 NGOs warn of a deepening humanitarian crisis in Somalia and urge donors to urgently fund the UN appeal

February 1, 2022
7.7 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, as 98 per cent of Somalia’s humanitarian appeal remains severely underfunded

Oxfam, together with over 40 NGOs representing the Somali NGO Consortium urged donors to immediately fund the current UN humanitarian appeal for Somalia, in order to prevent a full-scale humanitarian catastrophe.

In an open letter to donors and the international community, the signatories said:

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 UN humanitarian appeal in order to respond to the escalating drought crisis in Somalia before it is too late.

Currently, 98 per cent of the UN humanitarian appeal for Somalia 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 years. Of those, an estimated 3.2 million people — in 66 out of 74 districts — are already suffering from a worsening drought. 1.4 million people will also be displaced in the coming months, congesting already overcrowded displacement camps and generating conflict over resources. Moreover, diarrhea is spreading due to lack of sufficient clean water and hygiene services.

Malnutrition is on the rise across the most drought-affected states, as experts warn of a risk of famine 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 worsen. Local humanitarian leaders are saying that they have never seen such a drought; and that their biggest concern is an imminent famine if funds are not immediately received.

Despite this unprecedented need, only less than 2 per cent ($26.3m USD) of the total UN humanitarian appeal needed to respond to the Somali crisis has been funded to date. A few donors have contributed so far: CERF (mostly Norway), the US Government, Germany, the EU, Canada and Switzerland. 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 famine. 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 widespread 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.

  1. ACTED
  2. ActionAid International Somaliland
  3. Action Against Hunger
  4. Aid Vision
  5. AVSI Foundation
  6. Candlelight for Environment, Education and Health
  7. CARE
  8. Catholic Relief Services
  9. Centre for Peace and Democracy (CPDD)
  10. Cesvi Fondazione (CESVI)
  11. CISP - International Committee for the Development of Peoples
  12. Danish Refugee Council
  13. Development Action Network - DAN
  14. Development Now Initiative
  15. Diakonia
  16. Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe -DKH
  17. GREDO
  18. Humanitarian Translation for Somalia
  19. International Medical Corps (IMC)
  20. International Rescue Committee (IRC)
  21. Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW)
  22. Juba Foundation
  23. Life & Peace Institute (LPI)
  24. MEDAIR
  25. Mercy Corps
  26. Nagaad Women’s Network
  27. Nexus Platform
  28. Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
  29. Oxfam
  30. Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH)
  31. SSWC
  32. SADO
  33. Save the Children
  34. Social Empowerment Rehabilitation and Development Org. (SERDO)
  35. Somali Lifeline Organization (SOLO)
  36. Somali Women and Child Care Association (SWCCA)
  37. Sustainable Development & Peace building Initiatives (SYPD)
  38. Taakulo Somali Community (Taakulo)
  39. Volunteers for Relief and Development  (VRD)
  40. WASDA
  41. Welthungerhilfe (WHH)
  42. World Concern
  43. World Vision International
  44. ZamZam Foundation

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Notes to editors:
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Paula Baker
Media Relations
Oxfam Canada
(613) 240-3047

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