Somalia receives millions of US dollars in life-saving assistance

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) on Monday released a total of 45.7 million U.S. dollars to scale up life-saving assistance in Somalia.

Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said the 12 million dollars of CERF allocation will boost the response in the worst affected parts of northern Somalia, where 823,000 people are facing severe food insecurity.

“These allocations will enable humanitarian agencies in Somalia to deliver urgently needed food, clean water, health care, and education support in the shortest possible time in areas where needs are the highest,” Lowcock said in a statement.

The UN said 33.7 million dollars of SHF allocation will scale up protection, education and shelter support in northern Somalia, and other life-saving activities in central and southern Somalia.

The SHF is a multi-donor country-based pooled mechanism created in 2010 to allocate funding for the most urgent life-saving interventions in Somalia. It is managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

It said most of the funding will go to national and international non-governmental organizations, while 700,000 dollars will go to the UN Humanitarian Air Service, which helps move essential humanitarian goods and personnel.

According to the UN, more than 4.2 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance this year, including 900,000 acutely malnourished children.

Lowcock said the funds will be used for food assistance in Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed regions, and nutrition, health, and water and sanitation and hygiene programmes in Sool, Sanaag, and Bari regions.

“We will prioritize delivery to children, women, the elderly, and people living with disabilities, who have suffered terribly as drought and conflict continue to drive the crisis in Somalia,” he added.

George Conway, the acting humanitarian coordinator for Somalia said support from CERF and the SHF will enable aid organizations to scale up and sustain life-saving assistance in the worst-affected areas in the country as the Jilaal (dry season) persists.

“This allocation is critical, but further generous donor funding will be needed to sustain aid operations and support recovery across Somalia,” said Conway.

Food security situation in Somalia has deteriorated, particularly in the north, and in some central parts of the country due to poor Deyr seasonal rains, the lingering effects of the 2016/2017 drought, conflict, displacement and evictions despite improvements in the humanitarian situation in 2018, said the UN.

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