The UN relief envoy in Somalia has allocated $20 million from the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) to provide immediate assistance to communities at risk due to drought in priority locations.
Adam Abdelmoula, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, said a disaster is unfolding in the African nation due to severe drought, reports Xinhua news agency.
“In several areas, the risk of famine has increased, and scores of Somalis are on the brink of catastrophe,” he added.
According to the UN, Somalia is the most drought-impacted country in the Horn of Africa.
At least 6.1 million people have been affected, of whom 771,000 have abandoned their homes in search of water, food, and pasture.
The UN said at least 1.5 million children are facing acute malnutrition, and over 3,170 acute watery diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera and 2,460 measles cases have been confirmed since January.
“I am concerned that a huge number of people will starve to death unless we rapidly scale up the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those most affected,” Abdelmoula said.
The UN said the 2022 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan, which seeks $1.5 billion to assist 5.5 million people, has only received 18 per cent of required funding (nearly 260 million dollars) as of May 31 despite increasing needs.
In February, the UN said SHF allocated $25 million to mitigate the impacts of severe drought while about 836,000 people benefited through multi-sectoral integrated interventions.
Abdelmoula said the new allocation will focus on underserved, hard-to-reach areas and complements the $14 million Rapid Response grant from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) that aims to address the worsening food crisis and multi-sectoral needs of communities severely affected by the drought.
“We are running out of time. Unless we act now, we are likely to experience the worst outcomes in coming months.”