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UN allocates $8M for early response to drought in Somalia

19 Nov 2021

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Amina Saleban,35,  who lives with her three children in the Karasharka settlement for the internally displaced in Somalia’s Hargeysa District struggles to find water for daily use. Credit: OCHA/ Erich Ogoso

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths has allocated US$8 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund for early action in response to drought in Somalia.

Somalia is experiencing severe drought conditions after two consecutive failed rainy seasons, especially affecting the southwest of the country. The current rainy season was also forecast to be poor and has so far indeed been below average. This has led to shortages of food and water, threatened peoples’ livelihoods, and increased the risk of communicable diseases. In the last quarter of 2021, 3.5 million people - 22 per cent of the population - were expected to face food insecurity, and 1.2 million children were likely to be acutely malnourished.

This allocation serves a dual purpose. First, it will fund immediate humanitarian action targeting more than 606,000 of the most vulnerable people in Jubaland and South West State. This action focuses on unconditional cash assistance as the main response, which will help households meet their basic food needs and prevent the depletion of livelihood assets. Other priority areas include livestock treatment, the provision of drinking water and health care services. Second,  part of this allocation will be used to fund services in anticipation of worsening food insecurity, thus aiming to mitigate the impact of deteriorating conditions. The Somalia Humanitarian Fund is allocating an additional $6 million for the response.