Today, the United Nations and humanitarian partners in Somalia together with Federal and State Governments released the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Somalia, which seeks US$2.6 billion to assist about 7.6 million people. An estimated 8.25 million people, nearly half of the population, need immediate lifesaving humanitarian and protection assistance. Famine is a strong possibility from April to June and beyond if humanitarian assistance is not sustained and if the next rains underperform, as current forecasts indicate.
“The efforts of local communities and the scale up of humanitarian assistance prevented famine thresholds from being surpassed in 2022, but millions of lives remain on the line,” said Mr. Adam Abdelmoula, Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.
With five consecutive poor rainy seasons, the longest and most severe drought in Somalia’s recent history is devastating the country. The drought has displaced more than 1.4 million people and killed at least 3.5 million livestock, destroying livelihoods and reducing children’s access to milk. Even though technical famine thresholds have not been reached, the situation is extremely alarming: prolonged and extreme conditions have resulted in higher-than-normal deaths and excess mortality will continue to accumulate unless assistance is further scaled up and sustained in crucial sectors.
Amid an anticipated reduction in funding for humanitarian assistance, 8.3 million people will likely experience high levels of acute food insecurity between April and June, including more than 727,000 who are likely to face catastrophic conditions. About 8 million people lack access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene services. Reported cholera and measles cases have surged compared to recent years, and acute malnutrition has increased. Conflict and insecurity continue to drive needs and hinder humanitarian access.
“The people of Somalia are paying the price for a climate emergency they did very little to create create,” said Mr. Salah Jama, Deputy Prime Minister, Federal Government of Somalia. “The Federal and State governments, local communities and the Somali private sector and diaspora are working with the international community to assist the most vulnerable people in the areas with highest needs. I urge all partners to support these lifesaving efforts.”
Humanitarian organizations, local communities and government authorities have ramped up responses and reached 7.3 million people in 2022, but they need additional resources and unhindered access to people in need.
“I thank our donors who generously funded the 2022 HRP and urge more donors to step up and frontload their support. Any delay in assistance is a matter of life or death for people in need,” said Mr. Abdelmoula. “We must also invest in livelihoods, resilience, infrastructure development, climate adaptation and durable solutions to break the cycle of chronic and recurrent humanitarian crises in Somalia and ensure that those affected can adapt and thrive.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).