As need deepens, Somalia appeal is expanded

9 August, 2011
A woman holding her young malnourished baby queues for food at the Badbado camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IPDs) in Somalia. Credit: UN Photo/Stuart Price
A woman holding her young malnourished baby queues for food at the Badbado camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IPDs) in Somalia. Credit: UN Photo/Stuart Price

Aid agencies have almost doubled the amount requested to save lives in Somalia, calling for over US$ 1 billion. Famine is spreading in the drought- and conflict-stricken country but funding for relief remains worryingly low.

The Consolidated Appeals Process, one of the international humanitarian community's most important tools for raising resources for action in Somalia, was revised on 8 August to keep pace with worsening conditions.

“The humanitarian community needs to immediately scale up its operations to save lives and prevent further deterioration,” aid agencies warned in a revised appeal. “In the last few months, tens of thousands of Somalis, the majority of whom are children, have died,” they added.

Famine now exists in five areas of Somalia. Malnutrition rates in some areas of Southern Somalia are the highest in the world. The latest humanitarian assessments revealed that 3.7 million people in the country were in crisis.

Some 500,000 people in southern Somalia - about 20 per cent of those at risk - are receiving food assistance, including 107,000 children receiving targeted supplementary feeding.

That is only a fraction of what is needed according to Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos. “The situation [in the Horn of Africa] is far too serious to be treated as ‘business as usual’, yet this continues to be the case in some quarters,” she said on 5 August. Ms. Amos urged donors, the private sector and individuals to “pull together and tackle this crisis together.”

The question is whether appealing for more funds will result in more funding. So far, $487 million, or 46 per cent of the requested amount has been funded.

 

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