The United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has provided U.S.$9.5 million for immediate assistance to communities most vulnerable to famine in Somalia.

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula, who disclosed this, said the new allocation from the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) will be crucial in scaling up response to the needs of communities in the Bay and Bakool regions of the country.

According to the UN agency, communities will be supported with cash for food, emergency livelihood inputs, health care, nutrition, and water as well as sanitation services.

The risk of famine is the highest in the Bay and Bakool regions, particularly in the Bay, where for the first time since 2017, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification has confirmed pockets of catastrophic food insecurity.

‘The risk of famine and number of people getting displaced has alarmingly increased’, Abdelmoula said in a statement.

‘Somalia is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe, yet the funding needed to respond to rapidly growing needs remains vastly insufficient to avert the worst outcomes’.

Somalia has now gone through four unprecedented failed rainy seasons in a row, with 6.1 million people affected by the situation.

Over 900,000 more people have been displaced from their homes, with the majority being women and children. Also, about 45 percent of the country’s population is acutely food-insecure.

‘We are racing against the clock to reach the most vulnerable and to prevent the loss of lives and livelihoods. I urge everyone to step up our collective efforts to help the people of Somalia’, Abdelmoula added.

The SHF is a multi-donor, country-based pooled mechanism that allocates funding for the most urgent life-saving project.

Photo source: UNICEF Ethiopia

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