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Somalia seeks $1.6 billion in funding to address humanitarian needs as country’s road to recovery continues

Somalia seeks $1.6 billion in funding to address humanitarian needs as country’s road to recovery continues
30 Jan 2024 21:00

ISIDORA CIRIC (ABU DHABI)


The United Nations in Somalia, in collaboration with humanitarian partners and the Somali Federal and State Governments, on Tuesday made an urgent appeal for $1.6 billion in funding to assist 5.2 million people out of 6.9 million who need lifesaving humanitarian and protection assistance in the country.

The 2024 Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan (HNRP), launched on Tuesday, showed that levels of deprivation will still remain “severe” and “extreme” in most districts of Somalia. According to the plan, 6.9 million people will need assistance, a 16% reduction from 8.25 million in 2023.

George Conway, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, in a joint statement, highlighted the challenges Somalia faces in 2024. 

In the statement, Conway said that "in addition to climatic shocks, conflict, and insecurity, widespread poverty and disease outbreaks will continue to drive humanitarian needs this year". 

Mohamud Moalim, Commissioner of the Somali Disaster Management Agency (SODMA) also expressed concern about the humanitarian situation and the impact of climate-induced crises on women and children, which comprise 80% of the displaced population. He emphasised the Somali Government's determination to address the underlying causes of these crises and work toward sustainable solutions.

According to the Climate, Peace, and Security Fact Sheet by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Somalia faced its worst drought on record from 2021 to 2023, which was followed by unprecedented rains and flooding.

These crises left millions suffering from hunger and malnutrition. Although the situation has since improved, 4.3 million people – nearly one-fourth of the population – still experience acute food insecurity, with two in five children under the age of 5 suffering from acute malnutrition. 

Additionally, an estimated 3.8 million people are internally displaced, and a cholera outbreak is spreading in various districts.

Compounding the already dire situation, the report noted that the simultaneous escalation of conflict operations against Al-Shabaab in central Somalia amid the multi-year drought further complicated the precarious humanitarian situation.

Since assuming office, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has prioritised combatting terrorist organisations entrenched within the country. In late August 2023, he ambitiously set a five-month timeline to dismantle the Al-Shabaab extremist group, inviting the group’s fighters and leaders to renounce violence and engage in the peace process. 

Somalia’s counter-terrorism efforts have been triumphant, as it has succeeded in expelling Al-Shabaab from strategic locations and neutralising dozens of its members in 2023. The country is now focused on straightening its humanitarian response to assist those most affected by the compounding crises.

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