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.
- ActionAid International Somaliland
- Action Against Hunger
- Aid Vision
- AVSI Foundation
- Candlelight for Environment, Education and Health
- Catholic Relief Services
- Centre for Peace and Democracy (CPDD)
- Cesvi Fondazione (CESVI)
- CISP - International Committee for the Development of Peoples
- Danish Refugee Council
- Development Action Network - DAN
- Development Now Initiative
- Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe -DKH
- Humanitarian Translation for Somalia
- International Medical Corps (IMC)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC)
- Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW)
- Juba Foundation
- Life & Peace Institute (LPI)
- Mercy Corps
- Nagaad Women’s Network
- Nexus Platform
- Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
- Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH)
- Save the Children
- Social Empowerment Rehabilitation and Development Org. (SERDO)
- Somali Lifeline Organization (SOLO)
- Somali Women and Child Care Association (SWCCA)
- Sustainable Development & Peace building Initiatives (SYPD)
- Taakulo Somali Community (Taakulo)
- Volunteers for Relief and Development (VRD)
- Welthungerhilfe (WHH)
- World Concern
- World Vision International
- ZamZam Foundation
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Notes to editors:
- Figures on humanitarian need and hunger levels are based on latest UN OCHA in Somalia website and UNICEF Somalia Humanitarian Situation Report No. 11 as of November 2021
- Oxfam and Save the Children "Dangerous Delay" report was published in 2011: https://policy-practice.oxfam.org/resources/a-dangerous-delay-the-cost-of-late-response-to-early-warnings-in-the-2011-droug-203389/